Two leading pundits have backed the BT Sport Pub Cup to provide grassroots teams with a footballing experience they will never forget.
Champions League winner Rio Ferdinand and former Spurs star Jermaine Jenas said the tournament, which kicks off in May, will be an amazing opportunity for everyone who takes part.
BT Sport pundit Rio, who won the Champions League with Manchester United in 2008, managed teams at last year’s Pub Cup semi-finals day at St George’s Park in Burton.
He recalled: “When I was there everyone was buzzing. It’s a good experience and it gives you the chance to go to a professional club and play on the pitch. Not many people get that opportunity.”
The standard was good and it’s a good competition. It is an enjoyable tournament and you should take it as seriously as you want.”
His BT Sport colleague Jermaine Jenas added that he has friends who would love the chance to get involved.
“My mates would be devastated if they couldn’t get involved in something like that. As an experience I don’t think it gets much better than getting your team together.
“For there to be such an organised level that the Pub Cup is bringing to the table is amazing.
To get to play at some of the best stadiums in England is just unheard of, so that’s something amazing to be part of. “
He added that the tournament brings back memories of when he would go to watch his dad play football during his childhood in Nottingham.
“My dad played semi-professional and we used to always go around Nottingham to teams that were pubs. The togetherness you would see was brilliant, we’d watch the football, go back to the pub and chill and watch a game.”
This season’s BT Sport Pub Cup is the biggest and best yet. Around 200 pub teams will compete at stadiums across the country for the chance to be crowned 2019 Pub Cup champions.
The tournament is also open to women’s pub teams for the first time. Both the men’s and women’s finals will take place at Newcastle’s St James’ Park stadium on June 4. The winning teams will receive the glory plus £5,000 of BT Shop vouchers and free BT Sport for a year for the pub they are representing.
And on top of all of that, every eligible team that enters will receive a full free Puma football strip for the season ahead. T&Cs apply.
- Registration for the BT Sport Pub Cup is open throughout March. To register and to find out more visit https://btsportbusiness.com/pubcup/