A group of North Devon footballers are hoping to be the only amateur team at the first-ever national beach football tournament.

The invitation from England Beach Soccer came after the team - made up mainly of North Devon Gazette Football League players - won the annual beach football competition at this year's Goldcoast Oceanfest.

And now it's a case of raising the money needed to get to the championships in Bournemouth - with a massive crowd-funding and sponsorship operation under way.

Scott Burgess, who set up the Sandy Soccer UK initiative with Saunton Sands Hotel work colleagues Josh Jarrett and Harry Simpson, said: "We came together a couple of years ago to promote beach soccer in the UK and we have amazing beaches here in North Devon.

"England Beach Soccer heard about what we are doing at Goldcoast and sent us an invite, along with professional teams such as Bournemouth and Portsmouth.

"We have players from Boca, Barnstaple and Braunton among others, and for the next couple of weeks anyone can come along and train with us to try to make the final 15 who will go."

The team is still looking for a main sponsor, but Scott is optimistic they will raise the money needed.

"In total, we'll need about £3,500," he said.

"I'm quite confident we can raise that, though. We have 30-40 players signed up and even if only they speak to their family and friends that's a huge amount of money."

To learn more and back North Devon's beach boys, call Scott on 07786 651085, or visit http://www.crowdfunder.co.uk/Get-North-Devon-boys-to-the-nationals