March 28, 2019
Whilst the South and North may dominate today’s Premier League, football’s real spiritual home is in the Midlands. League football was invented in Birmingham and for a long time England’s industrial belt ruled the footballing world. Some of the glory may have faded, but the passion still burns strong and the Midlands are chomping at the bit ahead of their upcoming clash with the South on June 8th.
This is the third #EduFootyAid fixture - a national initiative which aims to boost teacher wellbeing and raise money for Mind. The match will be hosted at Beecroft Academy in the picturesque market town of Dunstable, and several teachers from the school are also playing, including headteacher James Hughes.
The South will be led out by Graham Andre, who many will recognise from the BAFTA nominated documentary ‘No More Boys and Girls’. The Midlands armband is being worn proudly by Lee James of Grange Park Primary. Lee may not be able to compete with Graham’s IMDB credentials, but he’s been organising football matches for teachers in the Midlands for a number of years and his #EduFootyAid squad comes pretty much ready-made.
As is often seen in international tournaments, that existing squad cohesion could prove a decisive factor. A few of the Southern players shared a dressing room whilst flying the flag for the UK All-Stars in the first #EduFootyAid game, but for most this will be their first time playing together. If the South don’t settle into the game quickly, they could well find themselves dismantled by the Midland’s superior passing game.
However, being an untested team also makes it impossible to rule the South out. Nobody, including the author, really knows their true potential and that unpredictability could well play to their favour. If the South start strong, the Midlands may be too set in their ways to adapt their style on the day.
Only time will tell...
#EduFootyAid is mixed gender and open to all teachers in England. If you’d like to join your local #EduFootAid team you can find out more and get signed here!
Our target for this game is to raise £500 to support Mind, so that they can continue to support all those experiencing mental health issues. All donations are greatly appreciated and can be made directly via the #EduFootyAid JustGiving page.