If you think your five-a-side footwork’s a match for any amateur player in the land, signing up for a spot in the FA People’s Cup before the deadline for entries passes on 19th February should be an immediate concern.
The most inclusive tournament around, the FA People’s Cup is free to enter and has a raft of categories available. Age groups of both sexes start from U14 and go up to veterans (35+ count as veterans, which will make many people feel old) and walking football for the 50+. There are also several disability categories available.
You also don’t even need to convince all your mates to sign up with you – an individual can join the tournament as a lone wolf and be allocated a wildcard team. So if you’re a solo superstar, this is an excellent opportunity to make some new friends with your skills – just make sure to avoid these heinous five-a-side crimes.
For the best possible understanding on the pitch, however, your regular five-a-side crew will be hard to beat, and with the prospect of FA Cup final tickets for the winners, you should have little difficulty convincing everyone to turn up – unlike normal.
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The competition runs in three rounds, with the first taking place in centres all around the country on 24th-26th February. The semi-finals are a month later, 24th-26th March, and will be held at six to eight locations around the UK.
For those that prevail, the grand finals will be held on 30th April and 1st May, with the winners getting tickets to the FA Cup final where they will get to lift a trophy of their own at Wembley.
Assuming you’re completely convinced, head on over to thefa.com/PeoplesCup to register as a team (minimum 5 and maximum 7 players) or as an individual before Sunday 19th February.
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Nick Harris-Fry is a journalist who has been covering health and fitness since 2015. Nick is an avid runner, covering 70-110km a week, which gives him ample opportunity to test a wide range of running shoes and running gear. He is also the chief tester for fitness trackers and running watches, treadmills and exercise bikes, and workout headphones.