14 December 2011
Whilst the likes of Luis Suárez, Sergio Agüero and Ashley Young made high profile moves to the North West of England this summer, it may be AFC Liverpool who have pulled off the real transfer coup of the year.
Since he joined the club in September, former Homeless World Cup player James Buckley has been a near ever-present for the North West Counties Premier Division side, weighing in with some vital goals.
Buckley, who headed home his fourth goal of the campaign to help the club to victory in a recent game against Runcorn Linnets is certainly enjoying his football.
He said: “The football at AFC Liverpool is really good and playing at semi-professional level is helping me to develop my game.”
“Preparing for the Homeless World Cup improved my fitness a lot and gave me the ambition to go further. It has improved my discipline as a player and as a person.”
For James, his fine form for AFC Liverpool comes only three years after he had lost his passion for football altogether.
At the age of 19, James lost his adoptive mother. Devastated, he entered a period of homelessness and living in hostels.
His talent shone through and he was selected to represent his country at the Paris 2011 Homeless World Cup, a life changing experience for him.
He said: “Paris was fantastic both in the football sense and for the opportunity to meet different people from so many nations who all have a story to tell about their background.”
“Many of those made me feel very lucky even though I had a pretty hard time myself.
“Since Paris I have lived in a shared house in Liverpool and I’m looking to get my own flat. I’m also looking for work which is hard at the moment, but I’m determined to keep trying.
“I have taken things I have learnt from Paris and included them to my life, the main one being that if you want something enough, you can get it!”
Whilst enjoying his time as a player James is currently earning his coaching badges and has already taken his FA Level 1 assessment. He intends on attending the Mexico City 2012 Homeless World Cup as assistant coach for Team England.
He said: “My ambition now is to make a career for myself in football, whether as a player or as a coach, and preferably for Manchester United!”