A charity football match involving two rival Carlisle United podcasts will have an overseas element – after two Americans flew in specially to play in the game.

Ronal Gomez and Uriel Eguiluz landed in England on Thursday ahead of Saturday’s game between The Last Ditch and the Blue Army podcasts.

A chance meeting on a Spanish holiday led the duo, from New York, to offer to play in the game, which is being held at Gretna and is raising money for mental health charities.

Several weeks later and they are now in Cumbria and, they say, fulfilling a dream to play football in this part of the world.

They spoke to the News & Star whilst being shown around Carlisle United’s Brunton Park by Dan Morris of the Last Ditch podcast.

Ronal said: “In March, Uriel, one of our other friends and I took a trip to Madrid and decided to go to the Atletico Madrid stadium.

News and Star: Uriel and Ronal, pictured with Last Ditch podcast host Dan Morris outside Brunton Park after the American duo landed in EnglandUriel and Ronal, pictured with Last Ditch podcast host Dan Morris outside Brunton Park after the American duo landed in England (Image: Jon Colman)

“By pure chance, Dan and Adam [from the Last Ditch] were there. We asked them to take a picture of us in the stadium, and we just got talking.

“We talked about meeting up again at Barcelona’s stadium, got each other’s Instagrams, went for dinner and ended up talking for about five hours.

“Then I saw they had posted something about the charity match. I said, ‘Hey, if you’ve got a spot for us, we’d love to come down and play’. They said they’d love for us to be involved.

“Then we made it happen – and now we’re here.”

The American duo, who study in Washington, will play for the Last Ditch team in the game which is raising money for Carlisle Eden Mind and also awareness for Andy’s Man Club.

The rival podcasts will be competing for The Content Cup.

Uriel added: “It’s insane to actually play a match over here.

“I remember a year ago, I was in a warehouse job and I would sneak into the bathroom to watch the Sidemen charity matches.

“And I was always like, ‘It would be so cool to go to England and play a charity match’.

“And now for it to actually happen, I'm like, wow.”

Ronal and Uriel are staying in Carlisle until Monday and will join their new Cumbrian team-mates on a night out after Saturday’s charity match at Raydale Park.

Speaking about the game, Dan added: “The idea came from me and Oli [Caig, Last Ditch co-host] – we said we’d love to do a charity match one day, but we didn't think that we'd actually get to the point where we'd get so many people actually wanting to come to it. It’s brilliant.

“We’re doing it for Carlisle Eden Mind and also giving awareness to Andy's Man Club.

“You can see a lot within football and beyond, regarding mental health, that people do struggle, and we want to get rid of the stigma as much as we can, have it as a safe space, and raise as much money as we can.

“It's a close charity to both me and Ollie, and also the Blue Army podcast. So, hopefully, we can raise as much money as we can for them.”

Ronal and Uriel were excited to see Brunton Park up close after arriving in Carlisle on Thursday, having flown into Manchester that morning.

“I’d never heard about Carlisle before I met these guys,” said Ronal. “But now I'm a devoted Carlisle United fan. What’s the slogan? Up the Blues!

“The charity game is for a great cause. But more than that, we've been football fans our whole lives and playing since we were kids.

“In American, soccer doesn't get the kind of love that it gets in England.

So being here and playing with other English people and people that love the sport as much as we do, it's going to be insane.”

Uriel added: “We don't have anything like this back at home, back in America.

“The closest thing we have is college sports, but it's not to the passion that it is here.

“We always grew up watching football, watching British football, Premier League football. But never really to this level, of the fourth division.

“So it’s something new and it’s exciting to be here.”

The Last Ditch team have enlisted Carlisle United Ladies manager Tracy Gannon as their boss while Carlisle City's Jim Nichols will take charge of the Blue Army side.

United figures such as Paul Simpson and former players Simon Hackney and Chris Billy have recently recorded messages helping the podcast teams promote the charity contest.

Gates at Raydale Park open at 1pm on Saturday with kick-off 3pm. Tickets are £6 and can be bought HERE or on the gate.