Will Baptist soccer bosses teach England's Sven about crosses?
Two Baptist pastors from Shrewsbury, Charles Crosland and Tim Smith, will be meeting England soccer boss Sven-Goran Eriksson as part of their plan to become qualified FA coaches during the 2006 World Cup.
Their aim is to give Sunday school kids some free training sessions, in the hope that they can uncover the next footballing legend ñ and bring some practical hope to the local community.
Eriksson, who can teach them about managing and might in turn learn a thing or two about crosses, told the BBC: ìThe game needs more people like Charles and Tim to coach at the grassroots in communities and ensure young people have more opportunities to participate.î
The Rev Tim Smith explained: ìWe wanted the youngsters who attend Sunday school to be able to play football as well as attend services. We'll be hoping for some divine intervention when we start the course!î
Famous 1966 World Cup goal hero Geoff Hurst (whose second of three goals in the 4-2 final is still disputed by Germany) has already paid a visit to the ministers' home church.
Players from Shrewsbury Town, in League Two, have also pledged to lend their support to the venture.
The 28-hour coaching sessions will be spread over four days in June. They form part of a joint operation between the Football Associations of England, Scotland, Wales and Ireland.
The idea is to create 10,000 newly qualified community football coaches.
The scheme is being sponsored by burger giants McDonaldís, but nutritionists will presumably warn youngsters that fast food certainly isnít the best route to health.
[Also on Ekklesia: German churches to be peacemakers during World Cup 11/04/06; World Cup proves a football blessing to Iran; Bishop banned from visiting jailed football fan; Hallowed be thy game A documentary exploring whether football can be considered a new religion; McDonald's under fire from US church body; Stop using asylum seekers as political footballs, say churches]