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Football Manager demo available via official mag

Second issue available on September 23rd with cover mounted CD featuring beta demo.

The second issue of The Official Football Manager Magazine is to include an exclusive cover-mounted beta demo of Sports Interactive's keenly-awaited Football Manager, it was announced this morning.

The Future-published magazine hits the streets on September 23rd across the UK, priced £5.49, and comes "jam-packed with new information and updates" as well as the tempting inclusion of the beta demo, which allows players to sample six month's worth of game time.

Naturally, being a beta, it's "not been fully completed, so therefore will have flaws", Sega's press statement revealed, and gamers are being encouraged to report feedback direct to developer Sports Interactive via a web forum in an attempt to "make Football Manager 2005 the greatest football management game to date" - and presumably work towards avoiding having a repeat performance of having to patch the game on day of release as SI and previous publisher Eidos was forced to do with Championship Manager 4.

SI managing director Miles Jacobson said: "It's great to be able to give our fans not only the chance to really get inside Sports Interactive with the magazine, but also inside the minds of some of football's finest managers. Plus the chance to be the first people to get to play the beta code of Football Manager 2005, and help us test the game - their feedback will be invaluable to our quest of making FM 2005 the best Sports Interactive game yet".

The mag itself features a 16-page 'first look' report on the game with exclusive screenshots, a feature on 'how to achieve success in the game' "in the style of the Greece European Championships 2004", as well as "a detailed look at the 4-4-2 formation and even an insight into the world of Wayne Rooney and his recent sexual exploits. Actually that bit was a lie.

Apparently a full "official" demo will be released nearer to the game's release, which is currently on track "before Christmas".

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Kristan Reed

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Kristan is a former editor of Eurogamer, dad, Stone Roses bore and Norwich City supporter who sometimes mutters optimistically about Team Silent getting back together.

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