SEGA and Sports Interactive are today proud to announce the new release date for the next instalment in the genre-defining Football Manager series. SI and SEGA are now delighted to confirm that Football Manager 2006 for PC and Mac has today gone into production and is set to hit the streets across Europe* on October 21st, 2005.

Christmas really has come early for FM fans as news of the release date arrives on the same day that SI and SEGA confirm that the Gold Demo is now available for download. By visiting , fans will be able to download and freely play a half season of the game and at last find out about the raft of improvements that SI have brought in over the summer!

Two versions of the demo will be available for download, catering for all tastes. The "vanilla" demo is a lightweight file for those that donšt have quick net connection, including as it does the English and Scottish leagues, with English language only. The "strawberry" demo brings with it 200Meg worth of depth to your gaming pleasure with 8 languages and a massive 16 leagues to try out.

"We canšt wait to see the reaction of the Football Manager community to Football Manager 2006, having hit our optimum release date, rather than the previous announced estimated date" commented Miles Jacobson, Managing Director of Sports Interactive. "The team at SI have worked amazingly hard this year to improve on Football Manager 2005 and we are all delighted with the outcome. We all look forward to losing many hours playing the game properly, rather than testing it!"

* Release dates for Czech Republic, Poland, China, Japan, South Korea & USA are to be confirmed.