This weekend the Internet Millers head for Leeds for this years Worldnet 2004. Here is the preview through the eyes of Jebu!










Worldnet 2004

The following information and more can be found on the official Worldnet 2004 website at http://www.worldnet.org.uk

The Sports Interactive Cup WorldNET 2004 will take place in Leeds at Bodington Hall on the weekend of 16/17/18 July 2004. This is the ninth event we have run and as ever it is all about taking part and building bridges between rival sets of supporters.

Again we have received generous sponsorship from Sports Interactive, the creators of the Championship Manager series. As per last year there are 64 places available for squads of up to 22 players.

As an opener to the event the final of the IFA cup between Ayr and Millwall will take place on Friday the 16th at 6.30pm

Saturday 17th will see a series of games between sixteen groups of competing teams; the winners and runners-up from all groups will automatically qualify for day two of the Sports Interactive Cup. The 3rd and 4th placed teams from all groups will go in to the Plate Competition.

Both 32 team tournaments on Sunday 18th will adopt an FA Cup style format i.e. a sudden death knockout competition. The first round of both day two tournaments will be drawn on the Saturday evening of Worldnet; teams will then progress through their section of the draw.

Anyone who hasn't been to WorldNET before is well advised to do so if only for the social side of the event. The matches are 15 minutes each way played more or less according to normal FA rules, unlike the FA we encourage women supporters to play and we play our games in a spirit unrivalled in amateur football.

Previous Year

Last year saw the Millers have mixed fortunes in the competition. After narrowly missing out of qualification into the Cup competition by finished 3rd in our group we went on to be semi finalists of the trophy in our first ever competition.

The group stage saw the Millers end in a goal less draw with Wolves in the opening game and then squander a two goal lead in the second game against Spurs. This was costly as our last opponents were one of the tournament favourites, Italian team, Inter Milan. With the Millers needing at least a point to qualify it was a cracking match but the fitness and qualities of the side from Italia showed as the Internet Millers were edged out 1-0 with a rather controversial offside goal.

Finishing third in the group meant qualification into the shield, coined “The Numpty Cup” by ourselves. After a lot of banter and a few cheeky beers the Internet Millers went into day 2 of the tournament optimistic and much more relaxed.

The Internet Millers played a Watford Second string in the opening KO trophy and ran out comfortable 4-0 winners, KO was 8am! Next opponents was Scottish side Airdrie, the Internet Millers first ever Scottish Opponents. It didn’t start too well going 1-0 down but a quick fire 3 goals inside 10 minutes saw the Internet Millers progress through to the ¼ final. West Ham were the next opponents and was by far the best performance in any tournament by the Internet Millers. A cracking 3-0 win against a strong side with some awesome performances from a squad tiring after well over two hours of football. The semi final is where we bowed out, losing 2-1 to a very strong Portsmouth side that had a much larger squad, Portsmouth went on to win the trophy while we were left wondering what would have happened had our squad been just that little bit bigger to cope with injuries and tired legs!

It was the Worldnet 2003 tournament that galvanised the Internet Millers team we see today. It was taking shape a couple of months prior after a rather drastic change in management and organisation but after this tournament team spirit was at an all time high and gave us the platform for the season we have had this year, scoring a record amount of goals, some creativity/strength in midfield and the tightest defence to date.

Worldnet Squad

The Internet Millers has assembled a squad of 22 players for this years tournament, the maximum allowed and by far the largest ever IM turnout for any event. The complete list in no particular order is given below, all fans of RUFC.

1. Jebu
2. Denti
3. Stevie
4. Paul El
5. Gaz
6. Skip
7. Jonny
8. Dazza
9. Duds
10. John 2
11. Andy
12. Chris Cope
13. Steve Richards
14. Mike
15. Symon
16. Adis
17. Jammer
18. Lee
19. Chris Grist
20. Dan
21. Chappel

22. Dave

23. Aggie (injured - not playing but coming along)

Day 1 - Fixtures

The following is our fixtures for Day 1 of the tournament – Saturday 17th July.

09:00 EVERTON V ROTHERHAM
11:40 GILLINGHAM V ROTHERHAM (FRIENDLY)
13:00 ROTHERHAM V WATFORD B
15:40 ROTHERHAM V HEARTS

Preview of Group Matches

The draw sees the Internet Millers playing Everton for the first time and amazingly we will face last years worldnet opening shield opposition, Watford B, and the side that knocked us out of the UK supporters cup at the ¼ final stage, Hearts. We have also arranged a friendly to play Gillingham for the first time. A preview of each match is given below

Everton

Its important to get off to a good start in any competition but given that Hearts will start group favourites having almost won the UK league, its likely to come down to ourselves and Everton. The Millers have never played Everton but players Jebu, Steve and Denti have played with a couple of the scouse players while helping out Lincoln in a league game against Huddersfield. An interesting fact about Everton is that they have a girl playing for them but as an ex pro we wont be taking her lightly and will give her full respect, a couple of paul el challenges should do the trick!

All guns blazing in the opening game and a good strong win in this game will set us up for the tournament. Last year we started very poorly and slow against wolves and scraped a 0-0 draw. This year we will be looking to get going early and not just in the second day.

Gillingham

We know little about Gillingham but this is a great opportunity to have a relaxed game of football without the worry of the group. This extra game also allows us to ensure everyone gets at least one game of football on day 1 of the tournament with a chance to show their skills. With a number of fringe players pushing to break into the first team it will be nice to do a “Czech Republic” of the group stages!

Watford B

This is a game we should be winning but one we cant take for granted. Having beat Watford B quite comfortably last year we know a little about their team but it may have changed drastically. We need to keep focused in this game as if we have got a good result in the opening match this is a perfect opportunity to secure qualification to the cup before our final, toughest match.

Hearts

Hearts beat the Internet Millers 5-3 in the ¼ of the UK supporters cup. It was a cracking game where we went 3-0 down inside the opening 10 minutes to claw back to 4-3 until the last seconds. The match was played in Edinburgh and the Millers side lacked a few familiar faces in the opening lineup. Its chance for revenge against Hearts with a completely full squad but if we have done the business in the opening two games then we can enjoy the match and try express ourselves on the pitch (without throwing punches *wink*). It will be a tough match and Hearts start the game slight favourites given their league position and past victory but we will be up for the match. Should be a cracker!

Final Comments

Above all else we need to have FUN at this years tournament. We all want to do well and win games but as long as we have a cracking time and get the same sort of atmosphere as we did at last years tournament for me it will be a success. It will be disappointing to not make the cup, or go out early in the cup after a few of the IFA regulars quite fancy us to do well this year. However, I urge all players to remember what the IFA is about, meeting supporters of other clubs and having a good time. Lets do ourselves and the IFA proud at the tournament.

Bring on the weekend of fun, games, a few cheeky beers and lots of football!