Cottesmore AFC, Ketton, Oakham United and Uppingham Town to take part in the Rutland Cup
A tournament to crown the footballing kings of Rutland is set to add extra spice to the county’s pre-season clashes.
Cottesmore, Ketton, Oakham United and Uppingham Town have all agreed to take part in the inaugural event.
Two semi-finals are set to take place on Saturday, July 10, at Oakham United with the winners progressing to the final a fortnight later at Lands End Meadow.
The tournament – which is returning after a 24-year absence – is being organised by well-known Rutland footballer Stewart Lambie who is hoping to expand the event in future seasons if it proves to be successful.
Lambie said: “The initial idea is to run the tournament with four teams just to see how well supported it is.
“If it takes off then I might well try and expand it next year. The four highest positioned teams in the county have agreed to take part and, if it is well supported, then we might look at adding the reserve sides for a separate competition.
“It is something that I have wanted to organise for a few years now and it will bring something competitive to pre-season.”
The draw for the semi-finals is set to take place at the end of May with the matches being played at separate times (1pm and 4pm) on the opening weekend. The final on Saturday, July 24, will kick-off at 3pm.
Lambie is planning to donate the proceeds from the event to a different Rutland charity each year with the Pepper’s mental health scheme in Oakham being the first beneficiary.
He explained: “We plan to hold bucket collections and raffles at the games because we want to support a local charity each year.
“We have chosen Pepper’s this year because mental health is such a big thing at the moment with everything that has been going on with Covid-19.”
Sponsors are now being sought to help back the tournament and cover the costs of match officials, trophies and the Rutland Cup.
The Crown Tavern sports bar, Titans Building Services Limited and Rutland Late Night Pharmacy have already agreed to support the event and any other interested businesses can email Stewart on email@example.com for details.