Paul Goodwin: Doncaster Business Cup has reminded me of football’s true meaning

Members of Team Van Steen
Members of Team Van Steen

Raheem Sterling £49 million. Christian Benteke £32.5 million. A ticket to watch Sheffield Wednesday £52.

Frankly, it’s all getting a bit absurd. Football is in danger of losing its soul.

So to spend this summer rediscovering the true meaning of the sport - thanks to my involvement in this year’s Doncaster Business Cup - has been both an honour, a privilege and incredibly refreshing.

From the outside looking in, the Business Cup might appear to be a playground for rich, middle aged men to live out their footballing fantasies for one day at the Keepmoat Stadium, in exchange for a £250 charity donation.

But, as I have found out over the last ten weeks, it is anything but. The whole experience has been more than I could have ever hoped for. And Game Day is still to come.

As part of Team Van Steen, captained by Alexander Van Steen of Axita Limited, I have witnessed first hand what football is really about; people coming together to play the game they love, sharing laughs, gaining enjoyment, making friends. That camaraderie is what football is really about.

In a little more than two months, with the help of our Club Doncaster Foundation gaffer Steve Hernandez, dietician Kerry and physio Jenna (this is a serious business - we’ve even had meal plans this week), Team Van Steen has evolved from a group of strangers (who initially played like strangers) into a half decent unit. We at least look like a team.

We mean business too. And that’s another thing I’ve learned about the Business Cup. This is not just a friendly kick around. The same goes for the opposition, Team Plant, led by Moirae’s David Plant. No one wants this whole process to end in defeat.

So if you’re at a loose end on Saturday afternoon (3pm kick off), pop down to the Keepmoat and lend your support to this fantastic annual fundraiser. You’ll be supporting five very worthy charities (Firefly, Aurora, Bluebell Wood, Club Doncaster Foundation and North Ridge Community School) at the same time.

I can’t guarantee a beautiful spectacle, but it might just remind you about the true meaning of football.

Tickets are available on the turnstiles priced £5 adults, £3 children.