A beach soccer tournament scheduled for this Bank Holiday weekend in Skegness has been postponed until later in the season and replaced by a series of exhibition games.
Beach Promotions made the decision to reschedule what would have been the opening of the national tour so that the England team can prepare for an important qualifier in Valence, France next month.
Success in the qualifiers could see the see their dreams for promotion into the A Division come true.
England manager David Jones said: “The team have worked really hard to get this far and we’re delighted that we’ve made it to the qualifiers.
“We are now only six games from promotion and this is the closest we’ve ever been before.
“Becoming an A Division team will over so many more opportunities and provide an even better quality of soccer than we’re playing now.
“This is great both for our team and for England’s sport.”
In place of the tournament, which had been scheduled to start and finish in Skegness - the new home of English beach soccer - there will be several exhibition matches taking place throughout the weekend involving local and regional teams.
The entertainment scheduled to run alongside the tournament including a beach party, fashion show and barbecue, has been delayed until later in the season.
More encouragingly, however, the sport’s national sponsors, Breach Promotions Ltd, has announced that its plans to build a sports stadium on Skegness beach are one step closer to realisation after being granted a lease to use the area.
Beach Promotions Ltd’s managing director Gary Shepherd said: “We’re so proud of what the team has achieve and we want to ensure that they have the best training and support leading up to the qualifiers.
“Whilst we had hoped the tournament would be a great boost to Skegness this weekend we will still have exhibition matches on the beach and a chance for people to come down and see the guys training.
“We will be rescheduling this stage of the tournament later in the season.”
The national tour will continue in Swansea on June 29 and 30 with the support of the England team who will be hoping to return home on a high after victory in France on June 21.