Lifelong Doncaster Rovers fan achieves his dream of managing in Football Manager Tournament

A lifelong Doncaster Rovers fan has been chosen to represent the club in a charity Football Manager tournament.

Luke Beniston, who has supported Donny since he was a child and played Football Manager for a decade, will take charge of his boyhood club in a knockout cup competition against 54 other teams, competing for the title of best online EFL team.

Mr Beniston said it was a dream come true to manage the club he has followed up and down the country.

He said: “I’ve had to accept I’m probably not going to play for the Rovers, so this is the next best thing.”

Beniston was chosen to take charge of the team after Rovers CEO Gavin Baldwin announced him as the winner via a press video on twitter.

Mr Baldwin was impressed with Beniston’s managerial experience, after he won the Champions League managing Donny on Football Manager, beating Real Madrid 4-0 in the final.

The South Yorkshire side will play Fulham in the first round on Tuesday, 21 April, and although Beniston’s conceded it was a tough opening fixture, he said he has a game plan in mind to cause an upset.

He said: “It’s probably the toughest game I could have had. Fulham are one of the best teams in the competition.

“I have a couple of formations in mind, but I refuse to go out and park the bus.

“That may be naïve, but this may be the only chance I get to manage Doncaster, so if we’re going to go out, we’re going out playing good football.”

The tournament was organised by Sports Interactive – the developers of Football Manager – in partnership with the EFL and Mind Charity, with highlights being uploaded to the FM YouTube channel.

He said: “Everyone nowadays knows how big an issue mental health is and it’s great to be raising money and awareness for such a good cause.

“Especially with how difficult this lockdown must be for those people struggling with their mental health.”

A target of raising £20,000 has been set and Mr Beniston said it’s fantastic the developers are looking to raise money for such a good cause.