Published on July 18th, 2012 | by Adrian Simpson0
4 Boys and a Ball: Jog4Hampden
It’s pretty tough these days to come up with an original idea for a charitable event. We’ve had almost every permutation and combination of endurance through to juggling that the human mind can muster, so now you have to conjure up something so daft that it can’t be ignored. Jog4Hampden is one such endeavour that sees four friends from Scotland kick a football from John O’Groats to Hampden Park, a distance of 300 miles, to raise money for the Tartan Army’s Children Charity.
The boys will set out this August and attempt to run 12 marathons in 10 days, whilst constantly dribbling the football. This is easily the most exercise anyone has done in the region in almost a decade and that alone should ensure plenty of support along the way, and thanks to our unique summer climate it doesn’t look like heat exhaustion is going to be an issue. The jaunt will end at Hampden Park just in time for the national team to kick off its World Cup Campaign.
We caught up with the four amigos and talked technical ability, Trainspotting and the art of conversation.
Adrian Simpson: The British are constantly derided for their technical ability on the ball; do you think this is going to hamper you?
Mark: As we will be dribbling over hills/through countryside I reckon even the Spanish would have difficulties! By day 3 I will have mastered playing 1-2 with the various obstacles.
Andrew: Yes but practice makes perfect so by the last day we will be awesome
Stuart: Not at all, since we are covering long distances personally I’m sticking to a route 1 approach with the technique of punt and chase. Stick to what you know
Chris: No, I have every confidence in my ability. As a double award winner for the mighty Edinburgh Southern as recently as last season means I'm not I'm worried in the slightest.
AS: Whilst you’re running along nurturing the ball forward, in your mind which player are you pretending to be?
Mark: Big Darren Fletcher!
Andrew: Andrew: Roy Aitken on a surging run to the half way line
Stuart: In my head all my dribbling with the ball will be in the style of Archie Gemmill. Every stone, twig, car, cat or dog will in my mind be a Dutch defensive leg to which I will skip easily by en route to a famous finish
Chris: Wee James Mcfadden (the Scottish Messi)
AS: Will you take any time out to recreate any famous Scottish goals?
Mark: I think this is a great idea, I’d like to incorporate this in to my idea of belting a ball in to a loch…maybe a James McFadden vs. France blast.
Andrew: If it involves hoofing the ball instead of dribbling then I hope so
Stuart: Not something we have thought about, I will be happy as long as none of the lads recreate the Gemmil goal trainspotting style in the tents!!!
Chris: Great question. Even if it means rounding up a cow or two to act as a defender I am so up for doing any Scotland goal. I draw the line at Tommy Boyd's when Brazil jammily beat us at France '98 however.
AS: Who is the most skilled footballer of the group, and do you expect them to showboat in front of crowds?
Mark: Me, I will be aiming to show the other lads up as they play for a team…
Andrew: Le Stroth (Chris) is the most skilled but he is a professional so it will be Doyle doing the showboating!
Stuart: This without doubt is Chris Strother. Edinburgh Southern's current player and player’s player of the year. Safe to say running the West Highland Way with a ball in tow is showboating in itself, but not sure there will be much of a crowd to appreciate it
Chris: Well it seems I don't really have to answer this ha ha. But seriously though, I'm sure we will get a knockabout with some people along the way.
AS: How soon do you expect to run out of things to say to each other?
Mark: During the more tougher parts of our run where concentration is key, I think there may be quiet times.
Andrew: Up hills will no doubt be quiet but confident we can keep the banter flowing
Stuart: Never! If there is one thing for certain on this run its that we as a 4 will never run out of chat, I’m sure there will be times we are begging each other for some peace and quiet…however we may revisit this answer after a few hundred miles
Chris: That won't happen. We'll keep the chat going no problem.
AS: What are the chances for the Scotland team to qualify for 2014?
Mark: I reckon we will be on course to qualify then leave it to the last game to mess things up!
Andrew: Judging by Spain’s progress with a lack of attacking ambition, I'd say our chances very good!
Stuart: I think we have a great group of player coming through at the moment and some playing at a very high level so I feel we have a great chance of qualification. Hopefully our arrival at the national stadium after a 300 mile slog will be worth it to see the boys get off to the perfect start by claiming 3 points
Chris: I think we have a decent chance this time. We've voided a real big gun in the shape of say Germany, Italy, Spain etc. There are definitely points there to be won and a few teams who will take points of each other which could make it tight and fingers crossed, we'll sneak through. We had better anyway as I've been looking at flights across for some time now.
?You can visit the boys website and show your support at http://jog4hampden.wordpress.com/