Irish League Fantasy Football: How to enter your team for this season's competition
The kits have been unveiled, the new signings paraded, boots polished, pitches mown or swept as appropriate and season tickets snapped up, meaning there’s only one annual tradition remaining to be upheld — picking your Sunday Life Fantasy Football XI.
The Sunday Life has once again teamed up with our friends at BetMcLean.com to deliver the return of our hugely popular competition, offering you the opportunity to land major cash prizes by demonstrating your knowledge of the Danske Bank Premiership.
In addition to dishing out a fantastic £2,500 to our overall winner, our runner-up will pocket a welcome £500 and the boss in third place will earn £100 — the same amount we’ll be sending in the direction of the manager whose team accumulates the most points over the course of any given month.
The biggest change to this year’s competition is the greater flexibility we’re affording to your formation.
Previously, all entrants had been strictly limited to a 4-4-2 line-up, but now you’re free to spread your wings and also go 4-3-3, 4-5-1, 5-3-2, 5-4-1 or 3-4-3.
All of which means you have big decisions to make over where you think there are most points to be won.
Do you go with a strong three-man defence consisting of players from title-challenging sides whom you expect to clock up their fair share of clean sheets? Or does it make more sense to cram as many forwards into your team as possible in the hope that they all regularly don their shooting boots this term?
Perhaps you’d rather populate your midfield with players who are no strangers to the scoresheet — or is there value in trying to select as many designated penalty kick takers as possible?
Whatever you decide, BetMcLean.com Fantasy Football, which is open to entrants aged 18 and over, is once again completely FREE to enter and it couldn’t be any easier to get involved.
Simply select a team that operates in your chosen formation and make your £3,500 per week wage budget work by keeping an eye out for the few bargains we’ve sneaked into the market.
You’re restricted to one player per Danske Bank Premiership club but if someone moves to pastures new before the end of this Transfer Window (or during January), we’re generous enough souls to let you keep him.
The same applies to the assistant boss to whom you’ll be entrusting the care of your chosen XI. You’ll pick up points every time they do.
Be warned, though, you can’t select a boss from a club already represented in your playing squad — meaning that if you opt for Linfield gaffer David Healy, then you’ll have to make do without the likes of popular picks Jimmy Callacher, Jamie Mulgrew and Andy Waterworth.
Dare you take a gamble on whoever Institute appoint?
At just £100, he's the cheapest option out there but you may have to wait a while to discover who your right-hand man will actually be.
Whatever you decide, it’s time to get the abacus out and spend your virtual money in a fashion you think is most likely to earn real cash rewards.
How can I enter?
Entries will be accepted via email only (firstname.lastname@example.org) and must be received by the time the Premiership kicks off at 7.45pm this Friday, August 9.
÷ Selection must consist of one keeper, the specific amount of defenders, midfielders and forwards as pertaining to your formation (4-4-2, 4-3-3, 4-5-1, 5-3-2, 5-4-1 or 3-4-3) and an assistant manager
÷ No more than one representative per Danske Bank Premiership club
÷ Wage bill cannot exceed £3,500
÷ One entry per person
÷ Entries received after 7.45pm on Friday, August 9 will not be considered
Your application should include...
÷ Team name
÷ 11 players
÷ 1 assistant manager
÷ Total wage bill
÷ Your name
÷ Your address
÷ Your contact phone number
÷ Irish League club you support
If your team's letting you down, don't despair because you will be able to shake things up in January.
Prove you're the best in the business by coming out on top in our hugely popular competition and you'll land yourself a very tidy £2,500!
So near yet so far, but hopefully a £500 cheque will help ease your disappointment at missing out on top spot.
÷ Third place
Earn yourself £100 for a highly
respectable bronze medal position.
÷ Manager of the Month
We'll also be rewarding those bosses whose teams show unbeatable bursts of form with £100 bonuses.
Start: 2 points Sub: 1 point
÷ Goals scored
Goalkeeper: 10 Defender: 5
Midfielder: 4 Forward: 3
Hat-trick: 10 Own goal: -3
÷ Goals conceded
Goalkeeper: -2 Defender: -1
÷ Clean sheets
Goalkeeper: 5 Defender: 3
Player misses penalty: -3
Goalkeeper saves penalty: 3
÷ Assistant manager
Wins match: 3 Draw: 1
Red card: -5
Terms and conditions
BetMcLean.com's Sunday Life Fantasy Football is open to entrants aged 18+ and all applications must fully adhere to the guidelines expressed in both the 'Rulebook' and 'Your Entry' panels above.
In circumstances where more than one entry is tied on a potentially prize-winning score, classification will be determined by which team carries the lowest wage total.
None of the wages listed are representative of players' real-life earnings and have been assigned to ensure a competitive Fantasy Football market.
FULL TERMS AND CONDITIONS: Click here
Pick your team
Belfast Telegraph Digital