September 19 2014 Latest news:
Saturday, February 22, 2014
The highs, the lows, the triumphs and the tribulations – fundraising footballers will put themselves through them all when they play out an entire Premier League season in just 12 hours.
Twenty five-a-side teams, representing each top-flight club, will do battle over 380 matches in a bid to raise £25,000 for Sport Relief.
And as they reach exhaustion point during their 38-game ordeal, the players will be able to take inspiration from another piece of famous silverware, the FA Cup, which will be at the Football Development Centre in Bowthorpe for the day.
This year’s tournament will be the third that organiser Kirk Lanckmans has masterminded for Sport Relief, and he hopes to add to the £43,000 which has already gone to fund projects at home and abroad.
He said: “The atmosphere is always just buzzing: people start off really energetic and with loads of enthusiasm.”
The tournament is supported by several Premier League clubs as well as Mr Lanckmans’ employer, Anglian Home Improvements, meaning that every penny raised by the teams goes to Sport Relief. The event will also feature freestyle footballers The F2, who will attempt to break a world record, and free soccer skills workshops with junior football teams dropping by during the day.
There will also be an auction of Arsenal shirts, a signed Norwich City shirt and a signed Manchester United ball.
The teams will each play 38 matches of eight minutes, with just a four-minute rest between games. Each squad contains 10 players, with each asked to raise £100 each, and Mr Lanckmans, 33, said there were still two team spots up for grabs.
“We’ve got some teams coming back for the third year.
“Most players come away saying ‘I ached for a week, but what a day’.”
Organisers are also looking for enthusiastic footballers willing to volunteer as referees for the day.
To find out more or enter a team, email firstname.lastname@example.org