By Sean O’Brien
Crawley Town has revealed plans to scout The Sidemen Charity Football Match this weekend for possible talent to play in the FA Cup.
The Sidemen are a YouTube collective founded by vlogger-turned-boxer KSI and his friends.
They will take on fellow internet celebrities, such as Logan Paul and Chunkz, at a sold-out Valley on Saturday.
League Two side Crawley were recently bought by WAGMI United, a crypto sports company, with a goal to make the Red Devils ‘the internet’s team’.
Now the club has announced a partnership with The Sidemen – and admitted YouTubers could be drafted in for Crawley’s first-round FA Cup match in November.
Co-chairman Preston Johnson said: “It’s no secret that we want Crawley Town FC to become ‘The Internet’s Team.’
“And while we’re normally referring to growing a global community of online fans when we use that term, why can’t it also refer to the players we scout and recruit to join our squad?
“We know this is an unconventional idea, to say the least. But we’ve never been shy about doing things differently, and we’re excited about partnering with The Sidemen and the opportunity to scout their charity match to potentially identify a couple of quality footballers who can join the club ahead of our first FA Cup match.”
Manager Kevin Betsy hinted the move was a token gesture aimed at attracting new fans to the club.
The Sidemen have 130million followers on YouTube combined and Betsy admitted any new recruits would only play if the first-round match was ‘already well in hand’.
In an attempt to reassure the club’s supporters, Betsy said: “When we step on the pitch on 5 November, our only goal is to win the match and advance to the next round.
“The FA Cup is a historic competition that is incredibly meaningful to our club, our players and our fans, and we’re looking forward to doing everything we can to make a deep run this season.
“However, the unique rules of this competition give us a chance to try something different, and we’re looking forward to potentially welcoming some new faces to the team.
“It’s fairly unlikely that they’ll get on the pitch unless the game is already well in hand, but we’re excited to add some fresh blood to our training sessions and in the dugout — and hopefully bring some new fans to the club in the process.”
Crawley have previous when it comes to signing celebrities: the Red Devils had TV personality Mark Wright on their books after he impressed during Soccer Aid.
Watch the World Cup with talkSPORT
At talkSPORT we are powered by fans, so come and join us for the ultimate World Cup fan experience this winter – at the talkSPORT Fan Zone.
In a huge indoor venue under the arches at Waterloo in London, we’ll bring you live screenings of every World Cup game.
There will be Q&As with talkSPORT talent, you’ll be part of our live broadcasts, and there will be plenty of food and drink on offer too.
Come and enjoy the best World Cup fan experience in London – and enjoy a pint on us – with tickets for England and Wales’ group stage games on sale now HERE!