Enlist now: your country needs you
So there we were: me, ex-Chelsea/England defender Graeme Le Saux, former GMTV host Ben Shepherd, the tall one from Inbetweeners, a female prison officer from Exeter and a submariner from Preston playing tag on a football pitch in central London.
I'm not sure why they were there (beats working?) but my motivation was clear: English football needs me, it's obvious.
What else could I think when a day after the Football Association announces another English coach will be recruited to catch the pearls of wisdom that fall from Fabio Capello's mouth, it launches a recruitment drive for grassroots coaching talent?
It's practically a come-get-me plea. But the even better news is they don't just need me, they need you too. In fact, the FA wants 50,000 more qualified coaches by 2011 and 8,000 new referees.
Shepherd closes in while your correspondent tackles a girl in the background
It's what people who work in sport and Australians call a "big ask" but it's also long overdue if English football is ever going to close the skills gap that opens up every other summer when our brave boys take on those tricky chaps from elsewhere.
Capello, Frank Lampard and the well-refreshed blokes dressed as crusaders can cling to the lifeline of that shot off the underside of the bar all they like, but 32,000 fewer senior coaches than Germany is a rout even the most one-eyed England fan cannot deny.
Or can they? Is there a coaching equivalent to the "at 2-2 we would have had the momentum" argument? Perhaps. But before I get into that, let's return to the FA's "Football Needs You" wheeze.
On the face of it, it's a low-cost no-brainer. Talk to almost any professional sportsperson and an inspirational coach will figure highly in their back stories. Getting greater numbers - and more quality - into this country's coaching ranks is, for my money, the national governing body's most important job.
In terms of detail, the campaign is a straightforward advertising push, with the main innovation being the FA's first "short" for cinema audiences.
I'm told this advert is a "Never Mind the Buzzocks"-style spoof and it stars England U21 coach (and my main rival to be next England boss) Stuart Pearce, alongside six everyday folk who currently juggle the demands of busy careers and "their passion for coaching and refereeing".
The race to replace Fabio Capello starts now and Stuart Pearce looks nicely placed
This group will also feature prominently in a nationwide poster campaign and having played tag with prison officer Tracy Burnett and submariner David McNamara I can attest to their passion for football and all-round niceness.
A more cynical man than me might point out that in terms of investing money in grassroots football a celebrity-free advertising campaign is hardly a game-changing commitment.
But the FA, like the rest of us, isn't in a position to make game-changing financial commitments at the moment. Last week's admission that the governing body is struggling to make ends meet in the wake of the overspend on Wembley, head office move from Soho Square, demise of Setanta and rising salary costs (ahem, Fabio) puts the "ask not what your country can do for you etc" nature of the coaching recruitment drive into context.
It's not the multi-million-euro response the German FA made to the relative disappointments of its national team a decade ago but it's something, particularly when you realise our much maligned FA is still committed to investing an unprecedented £40m a year in amateur football.
Thanks to ring-fenced cash from McDonald's (to train coaches for all age-groups) and Tesco (to develop skills coaches for five to 11-year-olds), the FA has been able to maintain its spending on grassroots coaching despite the squeeze felt in other parts of the organisation.
For example, the governing body's 520-strong workforce has just witnessed the closure of their final salary pension scheme. A small sacrifice, some might say, but as the FA's head of grassroots coaching Les Howie told me, it meant there would be no cuts to "frontline services".
So while I'm not going to pretend "Football Needs You" is the antidote to further bouts of England v Algeria-style depression, it is part of the cure.
If the FA cannot afford to pay coaches more than the clubs do so they stay with younger age-groups or subsidise coaching courses (Level One will take 30 hours and set you back about £140), the very least they can do is raise the profession/vocation's profile and give it some public praise.
There was something else Howie said that made me reassess my slightly underwhelmed view of the FA's recent efforts, or perhaps it was just the way he said it (like all good coaches, he is a natural communicator).
Germany, Spain and rest of continental football's leading lights remain the target in terms of qualified coaches but that gap isn't as glaring as the post-World Cup headlines suggested, Howie explained.
Nine years after it was announced, the National Football Centre is still a building site near Burton
England only signed up for the European coaching standards a decade ago. Our main rivals have been churning out Uefa-qualified coaches for 40 years. The evidence from recent years is we're finally matching them. The gap will close, eventually.
There is one other thing the FA could and should do to facilitate that move towards international parity: build Burton.
The most recent opening date (there have been a few) for the National Football Centre is 2012 but last week's financial reckoning poured fresh doubt on that happening. The FA remains £10m short of a proposed £100m budget for English football's coaching "Oxbridge" and another delay looks increasingly likely.
This would be a terrible blow to committed and talented coaches like Howie. He needs a real base and to hear him talk about a visit to Italy's revered Coverciano complex was to fully understand quite what Burton could mean to coaching in this country.
Perhaps the FA's next recruitment drive should be for architects, builders, electricians and plumbers. In the meantime, I'm going to sign up for my Level One badge. Who's with me?