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Chile: The beginning

DSC_0806A very exciting day, which has left me pleased.

I kind of just want to leave the post as just that, but that would not be fair on you!

This morning I met with Santiago Times writer, Sarah Tory to discuss the Fútbol Calle league and the group in general.

Sarah is also in the process of doing a documentary, so it was nice to share our experiences, as well as talking about The Homeless Goal documentary.

I felt relieved to be relaxing and just having a chat with Sarah, rather than concentrating on how the documentary is going to pan out.

After the meeting with Sarah, I had the rest of the afternoon to prepare for my attendance at one of the social programs associated with Fútbol Calle.

Located in Parque de los Reyes, Santiago, the social group that I met was the very first of the Fútbol Calle ilk and the social-football group is based around this program.

DSC_0802Directly involved with this particular social program is homeless national team coach, Juan Manuel Erazo Lobos.

With the help of Daniel, I interviewed Juan whilst the players showed their skills in the outdoor football arena.

As you may know, it was my first interview of the documentary so far and I cannot tell you how relieved I am to finally get that done.

It was a pleasure talking to Juan, who gave some insightful details about the Fútbol Calle program and his plans for the 2013 Homeless World Cup.

Tomorrow is the last day of my journey in Chile.

I would have liked more time here, but unfortunately that was not a possibility.

Who knows, maybe I will come back here next summer when Chile host the Homeless World Cup!

I am not just flying away tomorrow, though.

Accompanied by Francisca, I will be interviewing the director of Fútbol Calle, Pablo Alcalde.

This will give me a good finish to my time here in Chile and I am sure Pablo has many interesting things to say.

Hopefully tomorrow is another good day!

¡Salud!

Kyle Waller

Chile: Silver lining

DSC_0758

The men’s Homeless World Cup trophy

So, as you will know from yesterday’s post, today was a big day for The Homeless Goal project.

I had my second and final meeting with Angela Gonzalez of Accion Total to determine the future of the documentary.

It was a strange meeting as it flooded with good news for the documentary, but I left unhappy.

There was confirmation of a previous proposal that I mentioned in the “La gran reunión” post.

The proposal is to work with Fútbol Calle at the Homeless World Cup in Poland next month.

I would spend the week in co-operation with Angela Gonzalez on the media communications side of things.

Unfortunately, I cannot make the first day as I have work commitments which cannot be avoided.

And then there was another commitment I had on the finals weekend.

I have made a personal commitment with a friend, which we are both very much looking forward to.

It is something that has been planned for quite some time, with a life-long friend I rarely get to see for a whole day.

However, in professional context, it would be a perfect ending for the documentary to be able to follow the team all the way to finals day at the World Cup in Poland.

IMG_7264Tomorrow I shall give confirmation of my plans to Angela, and of course I shall let you know of the details in my blog post tomorrow.

There is a silver lining in every cloud, though!

Angela gave me details of a workshop being undertaken by the homeless national team coach tomorrow evening.

I am excited to see how the workshops at Fútbol Calle work and to see what the national coach offers to the people in social need.

It will be my first interview of the journey and that is a huge relief!

The big news of the day came in the evening when an interview with the director of Fútbol Calle program, Pablo Alcalde was arranged for Wednesday at noon.

It may have taken a bit longer than I wanted, but I finally got somewhere with, what I see as, the big interview.

Of course, if I am in Poland, then I will be able catch up with both men and all of the players and coaches as they go about their Homeless World Cup quest.

Tomorrow morning I am meeting Sarah Tory of Santiago Times to discuss The Homeless Goal project.

It will be nice to sit down and chat about the documentary, rather than stressing out about it!

I will be back tomorrow with all the latest news from The Homeless Goal project.

Hasta pronto!

Kyle Waller

Chile: All set and ready for kick off

DSC_0758Today was the most productive part of my journey in Chile, so far.

It was the grand finale for the Fútbol Calle national tour and a chance for me to get up close and personal with the stars of Fútbol Calle.

Unfortunately, I was unable to get as close as I wanted.

No interviews were conducted, but – and it is a huge but – interviews were seemingly arranged.

I have another meeting with Angela Gonzalez tomorrow and hopefully things will escalate from there.

With just three more days left after this one, I knew work was still to be done.

At 12:00, the official Chile team to go to the Homeless World Cup in Poland next month was announced.

I will give a full list of the players once I receive that list myself.

It was a wonderful moment for the players selected, as they were given their shirts by President Sebastián Piñera and the First Lady, Cecilia Morel.

After the female and male teams were presented to the audience, the tournament continued.

The finals tournament started at 08:00 and finished at approximately 18:15 before a ceremony ended the day.

DSC_0728There was some wonderful football on show from all age groups and gender – as you would expect in the grand finals.

The whole occasion showed how much the Chilean community appreciates what Fútbol Calle do.

Perhaps most importantly, the event showed how much the organisation means to the staff, as well as players.

I got quite a bit of filming done, too.

You could say it was a good day all-round.

As I mentioned at the start, no interviews were able to be conducted, so it was not a perfect day for me.

I cannot complain too much, as I have a few more days left in Chile, which includes another meeting with Angela and hopefully an interview with the director of Fútbol Calle.

Come back tomorrow to find out how the day went.

Buenas noches!

Kyle Waller

Chile: The opening game

IMG_7848I have barely had time to think today.

This is not necessarily been a bad thing, though.

It was another relaxed day away from The Homeless Goal project, but there was plenty of walking and usage of public transport.

As I mentioned on the blog yesterday, it is the opening weekend of the Chilean Primera Apertura season – and I was attending a game.

The game I watched was between Universidad de Chile and Club Social de Deportes Rangers.

Universidad de Chile were at ‘home’, although they do not have their own stadium.

IMG_7875For this match they used Unión Española’s ground, but I had to get my ticket from the Chilean national stadium in the early afternoon.

The grounds are at either end of Santiago, which does not help.

I went with Daniel – a supporter of Universidad de Chile – who has a season card.

Whilst at the national stadium, I decided to get some footage for the project – I never know when I might need it!

Before going to the match, however, we met up with John Lyons – former writer for The Non-League Paper in England.

John was not coming to the football with us.

DSC_0826Instead, we met John at a local rugby match.

It was interesting to see how different rugby was over in a country that is not a renowned rugby nation.

The home side was actually a team of players from local French schools – this made sense.

Unfortunately, we could only watch the first half.

I say unfortunately, because I was starting to get a bit involved.

The home side were dominant and had a decent lead at half time, so I cannot imagine that I missed an amazing comeback.

Then it was the turn of the opening Apertura game for Universidad de Chile and C.S.D. Rangers.

It was a fairly long trek on the Metro from the rugby to the football, but it was not too bad.

The atmosphere started to build on the train as we got closer to the ground.

There was a lot of security and police at the stadium.

I had to have my UK driving licence checked and certified, before being search numerous times.

All in the name of security, health and safety – I suppose.

I will not do a match report as this is not the place to do one.

DSC_0855However, to sum up the game, it was a proper ‘smash and grab’ scenario.

C.S.D. Rangers were the underdogs and Universidad de Chile had run them ragged for the whole game.

In fact, in the second half, C.S.D. Rangers did not even contemplate attacking.

They were focused on getting the 0-0 draw.

So, it was not too much of a surprise when C.S.D. Rangers scored the only goal of the game with four minutes of normal time remaining.

The locals did not enjoy the result, but I left satisfied with my experience of Chilean football.

Despite struggling lately, Universidad de Chile are a top Chilean team.

On today’s performance, though, they would not cut it in the English Premier League.

Dare I say it, I reckon Watford would give them a very competitive game on their day.

Tomorrow is a very big day for The Homeless Goal project.

I will be going to the grand finals of the Fútbol Calle national tour, where I will meet Angela Gonzalez again.

Of course, you will find out how the day goes by following @TheHomelessGoal and reading this blog.

¡Chau!

Kyle Waller

Chile: Same land, new place

DSC_0763I must confess, I did not have too much planned in terms of filming today.

It is not to say that I did not have plans for The Homeless Goal project.

After the meeting with Angela yesterday, I knew the location of the Fútbol Calle national tour grand finals.

Cerro San Cristóbal was once again my location, but this time I was further along the famous hill in Santiago.

The grand finals are on Sunday and today was the day that the Fútbol Calle team got to work on setting up the pitch.

Daniel and I went and had a look for two reasons.

  1. We were not quite sure exactly where it was
  2. We were told it was near a swimming pool and possibly in the car park, so we wanted to know how they would fit the finals pitch in

For the journey there, it is fair to say we cheated a little – or as I like to say; used our initiative.

We were short on time, therefore we decided to get a taxi to the location.

Once we got there, though, there was no-one to be seen.

The only thing there was the Fútbol Calle lorry.

DSC_0779It was only after Daniel asked a couple of park workers, that we found out we had to climb up the hill further using big, long steps.

Eventually, we made it to the top of the steps and low and behold…a car park.

As we got nearer, we noticed that the team were already putting the pitch together.

A large group of people were in a meeting, too.

We decided not to interfere.

So, after a short Footbag demonstration from Daniel, we made our way down the hill.

It may seem a pointless exercise to some people, but I would like to feel it is fully justified.

Albeit I hoped to speak to a few people in charge, but I did not want to upset the right people.

After all, I need them on Sunday for the project.

We quickly visited the Japanese gardens halfway down the hill, before heading to the foot of Cerro San Cristóbal and making our way towards a restaurant that I had been widely told about – in Chile and England.

DSC_0776Daniel and I met up with his wife, Francisca, and had lunch at Dominó restaurant.

A place well-known for their hot dogs.

I know this has no relevance to the project, but if you ever come to Chile, go to Dominó restaurant!

Tomorrow is looking like a similar day to today.

There will be a little bit of filming, before I go and watch my first ever football game outside of the UK.

Club Universidad de Chile against Club Social de Deportes Rangers.

It is the opening weekend of the new Chilean first division Apertura season – I cannot wait.

Nos vemos mañana.

Kyle Waller