JUDAS FC: THE KINGS OF THE KINGSLAND ROAD

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Powerleague’s Judas FC of the Dalston Powerplay League are no ordinary seven-a-side team. Open top bus parades, a sizable social media following and partnerships around the world. We caught up with team member Nick Scott to find out just what the hell is going on in Dalston.

[b]TGP: Nick, what the hell is going on?[b]

Nick Scott: It’s been a whirlwind few weeks really, and I’m still getting my head around it! Our seven-a-side team, Judas FC, did the double, winning both the Monday and Wednesday night Hackney Powerplay leagues and our celebrations went well and truly viral. Our bus parade videos hit over 5.5 million views on social media alone, and were covered by platforms all over the world including in France, Portugal, USA, Germany, Russia and Australia! The reception has been amazing and we welcome all our new fans across the globe with open arms.

Tell us about the origins of the team?

So originally one of the lads had a few mates from uni playing on a team in the Wednesday league, and a couple of us used to help out when they were short. After a while, he decided to ditch his uni mates, form his own team made up of Geordie and Mackem friends from home, and enter this team into the exact same Wednesday night league. The aptly named Judas FC was formed. Since then, the team has really flourished – we’ve got the backing of our favourite pub, The Shacklewell Arms, we played our first European away fixture against a club in Cologne, we announced an official club pie partner in Willy’s Pies, and now most recently we’ve broken the internet with our viral bus parade! 

Why is Powerleague, and specifically Powerplay Dalston, the best place for this unique team to flourish?

The leagues are absolutely fantastic. There’s an incredible competitive balance, we’ve developed some long-standing rivalries, and most importantly it’s made Mondays and Wednesdays our favourite nights of the week. From the pitch and equipment, to the referees and website, Powerleague and all the staff at the Petchey Academy bring a level of professionalism that really makes us feel special. The very strategic positioning of the pitch directly across the road from our favourite pub also helps!

So go on, tell us about the open top bus parade …

Well, we usually host our end of season parties at the pub, but after months of lockdown and the incredible achievement of winning the double, we thought it would be good to do something a little special. All the credit has to go to our Wednesday night goalkeeper Matt the Cat, who did an absolutely stellar job organising the whole evening. We boarded the bus in East London with our Powerplay trophies, crates of Red Stripe and Judas FC flags, and set off on a parade of London. The reception was incredible – we had kids running to the bus taking photos, people in the street waving, cheering, singing our name, it really was quite surreal! After a two hour parade that included London Bridge and the Shard, we finally hit the homestretch of Kingsland Road, set off a few flares and pulled up to the Shacklewell Arms like kings. What a historic day!

How have opposition teams reacted to your new-found fame?

The new season has been a bit tasty so far! Everyone wants to beat us, the tackles are a bit harder and our rivals have really raised their levels – we love to see it! If you’re reading this FC Village, send us a DM and we can send you over some signed memorabilia.

Off the pitch, the reception has been so incredible too. We’ve had offers from clubs all over the world inviting us for friendlies, brands reaching out to us with partnership proposals, agencies using us as a case study on how to go viral, and fans in our inbox desperate to buy Judas FC kits. We’re enjoying our new-found fame and intend to make the most of it!

What are these rumours about you trying to snap up a Spanish midfield legend?

We normally don’t like to discuss our transfer policy but I can now reveal that we are in initial talks with Spanish legend Gaizka Mendieta about signing a one-match contract with Judas FC. We met him a couple of years ago when he DJ’ed at the Shacklewell Arms and we even got a photo of him with the Judas FC shirt. Next step is agreeing personal terms (six cans of Red Stripe and a Willy’s Pie) and we hope to see him grace the Powerplay pitches very soon. Watch this space!

Some journey so far! Going back to basics though, why do you feel it’s so important for groups of mates to be part of a small-sided team? What does it bring to you individually and to your friendship group?

The Judas FC journey has been a really important one. We’ve reignited old friendships, made new ones and really built something special that is now a huge part of all our lives. We’ve got some amazing memories, and our bus parade really was the icing on the cake.

I think the message that we want to send is this … regardless of whether it’s the Champions League or Dalston Powerplay league, if you work hard together and achieve something as a group of friends or teammates, you deserve to celebrate that properly! The bus parade will go down in club history, we really felt like pros for the day and we can’t wait for next season’s boat parade down the Thames. FROM GRASSROOTS TO GLORY, BABY!

Get your mates together and join a league at powerplay.co.uk

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