TWO men from the Conwy area recently represented their country at the 2019 Homeless World Cup tournament.

Tom Brady from Colwyn Bay and Osian Lloyd from Llandudno competed at the tournament held in Cardiff between July 27 and August 3.

Tom, 24, has experienced homelessness in the past, having lived in a hostel, and has also been in recovery from substance abuse, whilst Osian, 19, has recently moved out of homelessness accommodation.

Speaking on his experience of having played for Wales, Tom said: “It was the best time I’ve ever had. Growing up, I always dreamt of playing for Manchester United and this experience was the closest I’ll ever get to that because it was like living like a professional footballer for two weeks.

“I had kids coming up to me after the game wanting an autograph and shouting my name. It was surreal.”

North Wales Pioneer:

Tom in action for Wales. PICTURE: Paul Roberts

Osian, who is originally from Blaenau Ffestiniog, added: “I’ve had many encounters with being homeless, from the age of 15 to the beginning of this year, it’s been on and off.

“I feel like the tournament went really well, for me personally and for the team with us finishing in the highest ever place Wales have finished - Top 16 in the world.

“I’ve gained so much, from confidence to a load of self belief in life, I understand where I want to be and the path I need to take.

North Wales Pioneer:

Osian Lloyd with Michael Sheen. PICTURE: Facebook

The event had been organised by film star Michael Sheen, who Tom and Osian both met and described as "humble".

"He even tweeted about me when I scored," Tom said. "He was a very humble man and you could see how much this tournament meant to him.

"I played as a defender but ended up scoring about nine goals as it's such an open game. At the time, we were disappointed to finish 16th, but looking back at it now and realising that it's the highest Wales have ever finished at the Homeless World Cup, we're all proud."

North Wales Pioneer:

Tom with Michael Sheen. PICTURE: Paul Roberts

The potential next step now for Tom, Osian and the gang is to represent Wales at a European tournament and a "home nations" event.

Both the men and womens Wales teams undertook an intensive 10 week training schedule before the Homeless World Cup began.

They also attended a residential camp to conduct intensive training and other non-football related physical and mental therapy sessions with coaches.