Veteran Chipping Ongar footballers get £3k to boost promotion bid
TWO consecutive promotions, a cup final and now £3,000 in sponsorship, players from Chipping Ongar veterans certainly have a great deal to cheer.
The club, which will be playing in Division One of the Essex Veterans Football League, has received a boost in funding ahead of the new campaign.
Management at The White Hart Inn, in Moreton, has decided to sponsor the club as it bids to reach the Premier Division.
"The money makes a big difference," said team manager Dave Cook.
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"It will help move the club forward to more professional standards, which we think it is worthy of.
"It's good the club is financially sound and now we're moving up to Division One, we're aiming to win it and get into the Premier Division."
As part of the sponsorship, the club will have a new playing strip, which will feature the pub's name and logo.
Players met their new sponsors on Saturday night at the club's presentation evening.
The team features players over the age of 35, and while there might be a temptation to improve the squad with footballers from further afield, Mr Cook, a former England youth manager, is keeping the club rooted in Ongar.
"The one thing I try to do is attract local players. Most of the players in the squad are from the local area and it's very important to me to have local players playing," said the 51-year-old.
"We're always on the lookout for new players. Anyone of a high standard we are more than keen to look at."
As for the pub, the reason behind the investment was simple.
"The landlord is very keen on football and he likes to support local people," said pub operator Stefano Esposito.
"We want them to get up to the top league.
"We will be very proud for the people of Ongar and surrounding villages."