The Urban Saints Fantasy League is back for another season and you've got until 9th August to create an ideal squad and enter it into our private league. It's a bit of mindless, distracting fun but it might just lead to something more significant. Could comparing statistics even become a suitable context for disciple-making?
If you are familiar with Fantasy League you'll need no further introduction - and we'd love to include you this season (see below). You don't have to have any previous connection with Urban Saints, just a desire to pit your wits against others from our network. We have a "head-to-head" league (each week teams go up against each other and the one getting the most points 'wins' - the team with the most wins at the end of the season, takes the title) so there is always something to play for, even when your team is not scoring highly overall.
If you are new to the Fantasy League concept (and you haven't already headed for something more appealing!), the idea is pretty simple. You choose a squad of 'players' (real footballers playing in the English Premier League) and you earn points depending on how they perform week-in-week-out in the real matches played. You get points for scoring goals, assisting with goals and stopping the other team scoring, while you lose points for letting goals in and getting booked etc. If you know even a moderate amount about football, you'll soon get the hang of it.
Our 2019 Champion, Matthew Judson (pictured, receiving the trophy earlier this month) was a first-time winner last year and so you don't have to have any experience to join in the fun.
We'd love to invite you to take part - and maybe you'll become something of an expert (just like Matthew did last year...)?!
For those who like these sorts of things, it's just a bit of fun and something to do to add an extra level of interest during the football season. But in case you are wondering why Urban Saints is wasting our time with such insignificant activities, here's an idea that might make you rethink...
If you have football-loving young people in your groups, why not use their interest in the "beautiful game" to deepen relationships? Getting together once a week (or however often works in your context) to compare notes on your squads is a great opportunity to open up conversations that could lead to more deeper spiritual subjects. You might even find that you can use fantasy football as a vehicle to disciple-making.
While not exactly the same, we know of a previous Urban Saints' Fantasy League manager who set up a Fantasy Football club in their school to help with numeracy skills and generally to create a bit of additional supportive community amongst the pupils. Who knows what talking sports statistics with young people might lead to - and if you do decide to do something like this, we'd love to hear about how you're getting on so make sure you join the Facebook group or just drop us an email about it...