Army FA v FA Legends
4pm, Saturday 18 May 2013
Madejski Stadium, Reading FC
Tickets are on sale via www.ArmyFA125.com
Gareth Southgate says he will be asking Roy Hodgson for a midfield role in The FA Legends side in Saturday's fund-raiser against the Army FA.
The England boss will take charge of the team of former professionals as they face the Army side, led by England Under-21s Coach Stuart Pearce, in the match at Reading's Madejski Stadium.
The game, which is to celebrate 125 years of the Army FA, will raise money for the Royal British Legion and the Team Army Sports Foundation.
And ex-England and Middlesbrough defender Southgate is looking forward to only his second game since hanging up his boots after the 2006 UEFA Cup Final.
"I played in a charity game in Harrogate earlier this year and that was the first game I'd played since I retired," he revealed.
"I used to join in with training when I was coaching and managing, or played five a side with the staff, but hadn't played in any matches since then.
"But there's a reason you retire, because your body can't take you to where you want to go. I've also no desire to get hurt anymore either!"
He continued: "I do a lot of running, so am in pretty decent shape if I've got to just run, but you tend to do that in one direction. It's the twisting, turning and sprinting that makes it a very different type of fitness.
"So I think I'll be volunteering myself for a midfield role, as I might have a bit more legs than some of the others. Plus, if I play at the back, I might have to sprint and that will be a recipe for disaster.
"Some sort of holding role, pulling everyone together would suit me. Mind you, there will probably be about eight people wanting to do the same."
Southgate used to play alongside Pearce in the England defence, and has also been involved behind the scenes with the Under-21s set-up on a few occasions.
But on Saturday he'll be going up against a fit Army side managed by his old team mate and hopes the Legends can play to their strengths by keeping hold of the ball.
"There will be every chance [Pearce] will highlight a couple of us to take out of the game, that'll be uppermost in his mind I would imagine," joked Southgate.
"But he'll just want to go and get his team to enjoy the game, enjoy the experience and of course he'll want to win.
"Hopefully we'll be able to move the ball quickly. If not, we're in trouble," added the 42-year-old.
"There's no way we're going to be fitter than them, so it's going to be about our experience and allowing the ball to do all the work, as the old adage goes.
"But it'll be good fun, we'll all have a good giggle. It's for a great cause and the fact that you have some big names playing shows how important people feel it is to support the troops.
"It will be fun just catching up with people who you've not seen for a while. There'll be quite a few people who I would have played with, so that's something I'm looking forward to."
Army FA v FA Legends