What’s your background?
I have a sports background in football, I’ve been playing football for as long as I can remember in the streets, in cages, parks, Sunday league, summertime nutmeg rush, Wembley, you know those classic football games takes it way back. It’s just always been in me, managed to play in all the teams at school and in college.
As a creative player growing up as an attacking midfielder, I’ve always been the person to make something out of nothing and that reflects in the way I play the game and reflects in attitudes towards life so it’s no coincidence I graduate from university studying marketing, so it’s great to mix my passion of football, events and marketing all together as I created the FNF Championship.
Where did the idea for FNF come from?
The idea for the FNF Championship came out of a frustration really, I noticed as I got older the time and commitment to join a local team were limited and waiting hours in the park for players to turn up can be quite annoying.
I just feel like even if you you’re not playing for a team either pro, semi-pro or Sunday league – as a player I still deserve a proper kick about where players come together and have a good game.
How did you set it up?
I set it up by first coming up with the idea of just a one off 11-a-side game by bringing the best ballers in London together to showcase the city’s finest. I thought if I’m going to have London’s finest, I need to take it that step further, so I enlisted graphic designer Ricardo Carvalho from Brazil, to design 4 of the team crests for the fictional teams I created called the Samba Stars, Finesse City, VSV Sporting and Madrid Kings.
Each team I created was inspired by my footballing memories growing up, teams just don’t have fancy clubs crests, they have footballing philosophies I’ve given to each club the players play for – so I see football styles and tactics clash on the pitch. I could’ve just given everyone a bib to play in but I want players to be inspired when they put the jersey, I want them to really feel like they are a part of something, I want them to feel like a pro from the first touch to last whistle.
It all came together once I had booked the venue, bought and printed the kits, got the refs, the linesman, the energy drinks, the photographers and videographer so players are able watch the highlights of the games they’ve played in. So from an one off game to an ultimate football experience players have always been craving for, I certainly delivered that, with over 250 players oversubscribed for the first game.
What are your plans for it?
The goal is to create a new football culture in London. I want these football events to be the norm, football is the best sport in the world so it’s only right to give football enthusiasts FNFC. I want to take these games across different footballing cities across the UK – to bring the best players of let’s say Manchester, Birmingham, Liverpool and London all down in one big tournament. That would be great and I can see that happening sometime in the near future.
What other leagues/tournaments were you inspired by?
The Nike Academy inspired me on a next level, imagine playing the sport you love, getting all the best Nike gear and playing against pro clubs with the chance of getting a pro deal? It’s a shame they’ve stopped now but their match highlights were the videos I always used to get excited for, check the Nike Academy vs Barcelona, one of the best vids Nike have ever produced.
An honourable mention goes to Le Ballon FC, these guys are just so creative and they took this thing by storm. I got to follow their journey as they documented their League, the kits were awesome, the crest designs were sick and they really brought life and soul into the beautiful game.
What other projects have you got lined-up?
Well we’re heading into season 2 for FNFC and I want to introduce street football tournaments for season 2 to compliment the 11-a-side games. We also want to give our ballers the chance to create their own FNFC kits too, with their favourite FNFC team crests personalised with their names and number on the back of the shirts so they can wear it to FNFC events.
Next season we just want to give players a game they deserve and we can’t wait to bring the best ballers together for season 2.
What do you think about what The Last Stand have achieved in their community?
The Last Stand have some really good tournaments, so good that FNFC sponsored a street football team called F4TAL (Fatal Four), it was a collaborative project between FNFC and creative agency Nacione to create a new crest and kit to wear at their tournament. It was the stand-out kit of tournament, beautifully made with FNFC sleeve patches and F4TAL branding on the typography on the kits.
It was a great collaboration mixing football with great design, a design that stands the test of time and lets the opposition know that F4TAL are here to win.