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Kevin Gallacher column: Legends match is finally here
THE legends game is finally here and I might yet have to make the difficult decision of picking a starting line-up tonight.
The match, which will raise funds for the Blackburn Rovers Former Players’ Association, starts at 7.30pm at Ewood Park and tickets will be available on the night.
They cost £6.50 for adults and £1 for juniors.
I‘m getting nervous for the game because my contacts have informed me that the opposition are taking tonight’s match very seriously.
I’m told that the supporters team have held a training session to prepare for the game.
We couldn’t get any scouts there because apparently it was all behind closed doors. I think their strategy is top secret!
But my strategy is just to make sure everyone turns up!
I named the squad a few weeks ago and it is John Filan, David May, Jeff Kenna, Simon Grayson, Tugay, Craig Short, Stuart Ripley, myself, Simon Garner, Mike Newell, Craig Hignett, Mark Atkins, Lee Richardson, Paul Dickov, Colin Hendry and Keith Gillespie.
I’m not sure who will be picking the team though, I guess it will be me.
I’ve been the one putting the team together with Ken Beamish.
I might try to palm off the team selection on Ken if I can but I think it will come to me!
The line-up will be confirmed an hour before kick-off and I think there might be one or two nervously looking at the team pinned on the dressing room wall.
But I think even the subs will get 45 minutes and four or five off those with the fresher legs will play the full 90.
Tugay might play 90 minutes but he will have had a long journey from Turkey so we will have to judge these things on the night.
When we were putting the team together for the game we asked supporters who they wanted.
Over the years Alan Shearer has always been the name mentioned and we did try to see if Alan was available to play in this game.
But the names mentioned a lot this time were Tugay and Michel Salgado.
Unfortunately we couldn’t get Michel over from Dubai but when we got in contact with Tugay he was very keen to play, he said, ‘Yes count me in’.
We have been able to get a sponsor for him to get a plane ticket so he can come over.
As far as I know we have sold about 1,000 tickets already but the supporters have been dealing with that side of things.
The BRAG have put a lot of work into the game.
I’ve always said it would be great if we could get between 1,000 and 3,000 for the game and hopefully the weather is nice and people will turn up on the night.
It’s all for a good cause for the ex-players. People might look at the footballers of today and say that they earn a lot of money.
But that’s not always been the case and there are a lot of ex-players from the 1960s and 1970s who still live in the area.
Some maybe need hip operations and things like that, but they are proud guys and they don’t like to ask for help.
The PFA help them as much as they can but hopefully this game will help to raise more money for them.
I’ll be speaking to Paul Dickov to check he’s still okay to play after getting the Doncaster Rovers job this week.
When he was Oldham manager I shadowed him and his coaching staff for six months to see how he did things.
I wanted to try to learn about how to deal with the first team side of things because it’s different to things like the work with the Academy I did at Blackburn.
Paul’s strengths are well known, as a player he was a little Tasmanian devil and that work rate is still his forte.
He did well at Oldham on a very small budget and I hope he does well at Doncaster.
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