Top Coaches to Find UK’s Best Amateur Footballers Back to news

4th February 2014

-Le Saux, Parlour, Shilton, Lee, Houghton and Coyle to attend regional events as part of selection process for Budweiser Open Trials-


London, 4 February, 2013 – An array of top former professional players and managers will lead the search for the country’s best amateur footballers this weekend, 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 are being held at the following venues with these ex-professionals: Graeme Le Saux will be at Parley Sports Club (South West) and Ray Parlour at Hayes and Yeading FC (London) on Friday 7th February; Rob Lee will oversee trials at Blyth Town (North East) and Owen Coyle is going to the Lancashire FA owned County Ground (North West) on Saturday 8th February; Ray Houghton will head to Stourport Sports Club (West Midlands) and Peter Shilton will oversee the trial at the Sheffield Concord Leisure Centre (East Midlands) on Sunday 9th February.  Two of these selected venues, Blyth Town and Parley Sports, are clubs that have benefited from 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.

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 follow the progress of the trials and for more information on The FA Cup with Budweiser visit

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For more information:

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+44 (0) 20 3128 6600


Notes to Editors

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 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:


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