The 2nd annual Jackson Building Centres 5 a side will take place this Sunday at Sincil Bank, and LCM wants to bring you an overview of the tournament. It's the 2nd year its been held at Sincil Bank, and this year is kindly sponsored by Allenby Training Services. Their MD Mick Evans will be on hand to present the trophies to the winners.
Last years winners were Nottingham who overcame Chesterfield in a thrilling shoot out victory. However this year Nottingham won't be returning to reclaim their crown, meaning a new name will be engraved on the trophy.
In Group A there will be sides from Lincoln Heavyside B, Sleaford, Scunthorpe, Central Distribution, Market Rasen, Chesterfield and Gainsborough. Central Distribution are new to the tournament and are definite outsiders in the group. The group favourites have to be Scunthorpe or Chesterfield, two sides who contested a semi final last year. Market Rasen were the unlucky third placed team eliminated last time out, and this year they'll be back strong and organised. Sleaford were eliminated in the quarter finals this year, but have Martyn Pickworth in the squad after his injury last year. Will it be enough for them to qualify? There are four places up for grabs, and whilst Chesterfield and Scunthorpe will fancy the top two, the other two spaces are definitely up for grabs. Finally a mention to Lincoln Heavyside B, a team that under performed last year, and could creep into the final shake up. So who does LCM think will triumph? Our prediction is Lincoln Heavyside B, Scunthorpe, Chesterfield and Market Rasen. Lets hope Gainsborough put in a stronger showing than last year, where despite Andy Thirlwalls best efforts they found themselves the first team eliminated.
Group B will feature AGS, JTI, Lincoln Group, Lincs Lightside, Grimsby, Lincs Heavyside A and WOBS (made up of Stamford, Oakham, Whittlesey and Brickworld). This looks like being a battle of the Lincoln based teams with five of the seven coming from our great city. Immediate favourites are last years beaten semi finalists Lincoln Group, as well as WOBS and possibly Grimsby. Grimsby will have a tough, competitive team and will want to do better than last year where they were eliminated in the group stage. JTI will surprise a few people with both Jon Elvin and Mick 'Wiffy' Smith in the side. It's expected that Lincs Lightside and Heavyside A will be going home early, but they may just spring a surprise. An interesting match up will occur between WOBS and Lincoln Group, with Lathen Tuplin making a last minute transfer following his job change last month. Last and possibly least will be AGS, but they will be driven by the athletic and energetic figure of Clint Sawyer. Will his enthusiasm be enough to drive AGS to a surprise second round qualification?
LCM fancies JTI to top the group here, with Grimsby, Lincoln Group and WOBS making up the other quarter finalists.
The final stages will be anyone's guess, and the winner will depend on who finishes where. On paper Lincs Heavyside B look very strong, as do Scunthorpe who were knocked out in last years semi on penalties by Chesterfield.
So who are the players to watch? Well as was the case last year the will be a range of talents on show. James Donnelly bagged a hatful in the group stages last year and will definitely be amongst the goals this year. Adam Weston will be one to watch for Lincs Heavyside B as will his teammate Sam Bailey. If Paul Sharman shakes off an injury for Chesterfield he'll definitely be important for his eye for goal and brute strength pressing forward. Martyn Pickworth will be the key man for Sleaford who will be looking to their manager for inspiration.
In Group B Mick Smith should shine for JTI, along with WOBS Tom Hart who's Stamford side underachieved last year. Lincoln Group will feature Aiden Williams this time around after he missed out last year due to Leeds involvement in the play offs. Fred Shoults strength and experience will be vital to Lincs Lightside, and Clint Sawyer may need to do a 'Beckham v Greece 2002' and win games all by himself.