-Steve Clarke, Alex McLeish, David Ginola and Ray Parlour to head selection process for Budweiser Open Trials in association with BT Sport –
London, 12 February, 2014 – Steve Clarke, Alex McLeish, David Ginola and Ray Parlour are to lead the search for the UK’s most talented amateur footballers before taking the best 32 players to Wembley as part of Budweiser Open Trials.
The search, run by FA Cup sponsor Budweiser in association with BT Sport, will see six regional trials from which 126 trialists will be selected for a final assessment at St. George’s Park. The trials will culminate in a showpiece match at the home of football, Wembley Stadium, to be watched by scouts of professional football clubs. Clarke, McLeish, Ginola and Parlour will be present at St. George’s Park to select the best players and will then manage and coach the two teams that make it through to the Wembley match.
Steve Clarke and Alex McLeish have both experienced success at Wembley, with the former winning The FA Cup as a player and a coach and the latter winning the 2011 League Cup Final as manager of Birmingham City. Both have extensive managerial experience with some of the UK’s biggest clubs including Glasgow Rangers, Nottingham Forest, Aston Villa and West Bromwich Albion.
David Ginola and Ray Parlour will act as assistants to the experienced management duo. Their role will be to identify which hopefuls are ready for their second chance of glory, and who possesses the technical and mental attributes required for the modern game. This will include hands-on guidance during the trials, and individual mentoring as the final 32 prepare for the biggest match of their lives at Wembley.
Steve Clarke said:
“There is no doubt that many talented players slip through the net despite the vast scouting networks some of the clubs have. Budweiser Open Trials could be the break some of these lads need to make a career for themselves in the game. The trialists’ dedication won’t be in question, but it is my job to mould them tactically and technically to give them the best chance of success.”
Alex McLeish said:
“This is a great way for footballers around the country to have a shot at fulfilling their dreams and playing at Wembley. The trial process will be tough going but for the ones that make it through, the rewards will be the chance to run out at one of the most famous stadiums in the world.”
David Ginola from BT Sport said:
“I’m really looking forward to seeing what talent is out there and helping to mentor them through the Budweiser Open Trials in association with BT Sport. I was lucky enough to play at the old Wembley and it’s a truly magical experience for all footballers.”
Ray Parlour said:
“The Budweiser Open Trials is the opportunity every amateur footballer dreams of – a second chance. I’ve played with some of the most gifted players ever to have graced a football pitch, but the difference is usually the desire. I based my game on this will to win, and will be looking for similar traits in the players dreaming of making it all the way to Wembley.”
BT Sport will cover the Open Trials from start to finish, resulting in a 30 minute documentary to be aired on FA Cup Final weekend in May. Highlights of the regional and St. George’s Park stages of Open Trials will also be aired on the day of The FA Cup Quarter Finals in March and 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 trialists, with the highest scoring players progressing to The National Football Centre, St. George’s Park, and then Wembley.
Christian Flouch, Senior Brand Manager, Budweiser UK said:
“Budweiser Open Trials is an opportunity to prove it is never too late, and with Steve Clarke, Alex McLeish, David Ginola and Ray Parlour leading the search, we have some of the most knowledgeable coaches and former players in the game. This experienced team will bring the best out of the trialists and help a lucky few realise their Wembley dream. Fans feel the magic of The FA Cup in many different ways, whether it is the anticipation of watching their team in the preliminaries or the glory of an FA Cup Final itself. This campaign gives a second chance to those who want to experience the excitement of playing at Wembley for themselves.”
Grant Best, Senior Channel Executive Producer, BT Sport, said:
“All the drama of The FA Cup will be provided by the trialists and we’re delighted to be bringing the stories behind the Open Trials to BT Sport viewers.”
To follow the progress of the trials and for more information on The FA Cup with Budweiser visit
– Ends –
For more information:
+44 (0) 20 3128 6600
About The FA Cup with Budweiser
The FA Cup with Budweiser is the world’s most exciting, authentic and democratic knockout competition. Every player, referee, manager and fan dreams of a place in the history of The FA Cup. And each season the competition gives clubs all over the country a potentially global stage.
Financially, The FA Cup can provide a lifeline to clubs at every level. And for their fans, The FA Cup provides an endless supply of memorable moments, from seeing who your team will draw in the next round; travelling hundreds of miles to share in their celebration or commiseration; right through to that unforgettable walk down Wembley Way in May.
The FA Cup overflows with human interest stories, and every year new heroes are born, new chapters written. It may have already occurred it may happen this year – or perhaps it’s yet to come: but The FA Cup will guarantee everyone has their day.
About Budweiser & Football
Budweiser and its parent company Anheuser-Busch InBev (AB InBev) has a vast heritage in football including partnerships with the FIFA World Cup, the Copa América, a number of local leagues, tournaments across the world and, of course, The FA Cup.
Budweiser has already demonstrated its commitment to non-league football through its FA Cup partnership by sponsoring non-league Wembley FC.
About Budweiser Club Futures
About Budweiser Club Futures
Budweiser Club Futures is a non-league football programme which is investing a total of £1million into 16 clubs in Steps 5-7 of the English football pyramid over last two seasons. The ambition of Budweiser Club Futures is to help clubs to help themselves, with the grant recipients using their funding to improve their general facilities and make their club more financially sustainable. These funds support the clubs to be at the heart of their communities, helping to ensure the future of the beautiful game at the grassroots level across the UK. Eight clubs in 2012/13 received £50,000 each with one going on to receive an additional £100,000 Super Grant top up and the programme is set to do exactly the same this season. To find out who has received £50,000 grants this season and to vote for one club to win the Super Grant, visit www.facebook.com/budweiser from 27th January.
AB InBev and Responsible Drinking
As a founding member of the Portman Group and a major funder of the Drinkaware Trust, AB InBev recognises that its support for The FA Cup is an important part of its commitment to promoting responsible drinking. The FA Cup is enjoyed by adults of the legal drinking age around the world and all of Budweiser’s marketing activities are exclusively focused on this audience. The FA Cup with Budweiser is part of AB InBevs dream to be the Best Beer Company in a Better World.
About Anheuser-Busch InBev
Anheuser-Busch InBev is a publicly traded company (Euronext: ABI) based in Leuven, Belgium, with American Depositary Receipts on the New York Stock Exchange (NYSE: BUD). It is the leading global brewer, one of the world’s top five consumer products companies and recognized as first in the beverage industry on FORTUNE Magazine’s “World’s Most Admired” companies list. Beer, the original social network, has been bringing people together for thousands of years and our portfolio of well over 200 beer brands continues to forge strong connections with consumers. We invest the majority of our brand-building resources on our Focus Brands – those with the greatest growth potential such as global brands Budweiser®, Corona®, Stella Artois® and Beck’s®, alongside Leffe®, Hoegaarden®, Bud Light®, Skol®, Brahma®, Antarctica®, Quilmes®, Michelob Ultra®, Harbin®, Sedrin®, Klinskoye®, Sibirskaya Korona®, Chernigivske®, Hasseröder® and Jupiler®. Anheuser-Busch InBev’s dedication to heritage and quality originates from the Den Hoorn brewery in Leuven, Belgium dating back to 1366 and the pioneering spirit of the Anheuser & Co brewery, with origins in St. Louis, USA since 1852. Geographically diversified with a balanced exposure to developed and developing markets, Anheuser Busch InBev leverages the collective strengths of its approximately 150,000 employees based in 24 countries worldwide. In 2012, AB InBev realized 39.8 billion USD revenue. The company strives to be the Best Beer Company in a Better World. For more information, please visit: www.ab-inbev.co.uk.