Le Saux, Parlour, Shilton, Lee, Houghton and Coyle to attend regional events as part of selection process for Budweiser Open Trials.
London, 24 January, 2013 – An array of top former professional players and managers will lead the search for the country’s best amateur footballers as part of a national search being undertaken by FA Cup sponsors, Budweiser.
Graeme Le Saux, Ray Parlour, Peter Shilton, Rob Lee, Ray Houghton and Owen Coyle will each attend one of the first round of trials taking place across the country, as the initial group of hopefuls is whittled down to just 126 trialists, who will then head to St. George’s Park for a final assessment.
The Budweiser Open Trials, in association with BT Sport, will see six regional trials take place across the country ahead of the penultimate trial at St. George’s Park. The trials will culminate in a showpiece match at the home of football, Wembley Stadium, where the final trialists will have one last chance to prove they’ve still got what it takes in front of professional scouts and FA Cup legends.
The former players and managers attending the regional trials will provide a wealth of experience and insight into what it takes to make it in football. In total, the group has made more than 3,500 appearances and won 40 trophies.
The six regional Budweiser Open Trials will be held at: Graeme Le Saux will be at Parley Sports Club (South West) and Ray Parlour at Bedfont Sports FC (London) on Friday 7th February; Rob Lee will oversee trials at Blyth Town (North East) and Owen Coyle going to AFC Blackpool (North West) on Saturday 8th February; Ray Houghton will head to Pegasus Juniors FC (West Midlands) and Peter Shilton will oversee the goalkeepers trial at Handsworth Junior FC (East Midlands) on Sunday 9th February. These specially selected clubs are all beneficiaries of grants awarded by Budweiser Club Futures, a community sustainability programme designed to help non-league clubs invest in their future.
Former England and Chelsea left back, Graeme Le Saux, commented:
“The Budweiser Open Trials is the opportunity every amateur footballer dreams of – a second chance. The game is littered with guys who didn’t make it for one reason or another, but just needed one last chance to prove themselves – I’m looking forward to helping the process of identifying them and seeing some of them making it all the way to Wembley.”
FA Cup winner and Arsenal legend, Ray Parlour, said:
“The FA Cup, where players from the amateur level all the way through to the Premier League dream of playing at Wembley. The Budweiser Open Trials is going to make that dream come true for a selection of guys that prove they’ve got what it takes.”
BT Sport will cover the Open Trials from start to finish, resulting in a 30 minute documentary to be aired on FA Cup Final day in May. Highlights of the regional and St. George’s Park stages of Open Trials will also be shown on the day of The FA Cup Quarter Finals in March and the weekend of the Semi Finals in April.
A series of professional level drills have been created for the first round of six regional trials by Newcastle United Assistant Manager John Carver. The scorecard-based tests are designed to assess the technical and physical ability of each of the triallists, with the highest scoring players progressing to The National Football Centre, St. George’s Park, for a second trial. From there, the chosen 32 players will then be selected for a final trial – a match at Wembley Stadium.
The sign-up process is only open to males over the age of 25 and closes on 27th January with regional trials taking place on 7th, 8th and 9th February.
Christian Flouch, Senior Brand Manager, Budweiser UK said:
“Budweiser Open Trials is an opportunity to prove it is never too late and with the expert knowledge of Le Saux, Parlour, Shilton, Lee, Houghton and Coyle we are sure to find a group of players worthy of gracing the Wembley pitch.
“Fans feel the magic of The FA Cup in many different ways, whether it is the anticipation of watching their team in the preliminary rounds, or the glory of seeing their club reach the Final itself. This campaign gives a second chance to those who want to experience the excitement of playing at Wembley in front of professional talent spotters.”
To apply for the Budweiser Open Trials visit www.budweiser.co.uk/opentrials
To follow the progress of the trials and for more information on The FA Cup with Budweiser visit