Wroxham clinch major sponsorship deal

Paddy DavittFA Vase semi finalists Wroxham yesterday clinched a major sponsorship tie up with fast food giant McDonald's ahead of the biggest game in the club's history.Paddy Davitt

FA Vase semi finalists Wroxham yesterday clinched a major sponsorship tie up with fast food giant McDonald's ahead of the biggest game in the club's history.

Yachtsmen officials announced a four figure deal with the global chain to sponsor Saturday's second leg against Sussex-based Whitehawk at Trafford Park.

The Ridgeons Premier Division club have also discussed a potential five year agreement with the American company who were at the ground yesterday alongside the FA Vase trophy.

Wroxham chairman Tom Jarrett admitted the commercial spin off is a major boost with David Batch's side just 90 minutes from Wembley after a 2-0 first leg win on the south coast.

'It's great that they have come back on board alongside our other sponsors and partners,' said Jarrett. 'They had been with us before in actual fact, but as happens with these things it ebbs and flows. Over the years we have been extremely fortunate with sponsors but of course in the current climate everyone knows it is very hard to attract companies.

'We've got a fantastic group of people here working so hard to make this club a success. During my time we have won just about every competition at different levels that our club has been allowed to enter but I always felt the big one, and for me that is the FA Vase, might just elude us.

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'We've always reached a certain stage and never got any further but here we are now on the verge of possibly going to Wembley. If we do, then that is bigger than anything we have ever done by quite some considerable margin.'

Jarrett is confident Wroxham's run to the semi finals will attract a record attendance to Trafford Park.

'It is the biggest the game the club has ever staged at Trafford Park,' he said. 'But we have a good team working behind the scenes and we're doing the best we can to make it a showpiece on the day.

'We have approximately 100 county FA and media officials attending the game and tickets are selling quickly. I was told on Tuesday alone we sold in excess of 200 tickets and the phone hasn't stopped ringing to be honest. People can buy tickets on the day but clearly it would be better for all concerned if they could purchase in advance although I would like to stress again there is ample excess car parking a short walk from the ground.

'I well remember the Wisbech match a few years ago when he had our previous record crowd. It was an evening game, there was a league title at stake, it was terrible weather but we coped with it no problem at all. This time we can prepare and plan well in advance.'

Jarrett is braced for a tense afternoon with Wroxham aiming to become the first Norfolk club since Diss triumphed in 1994 to reach the final of the prestigious competition.

'I normally keep quite calm but I will confess that last Sunday for the first time in a long time there were a few butterflies, which is unusual for me,' he said. 'I expect this weekend to be the case even more. To reach any cup final is exciting but to be at Wembley is something you can only normally dream about. I'm proud to be a Norfolk person at a Norfolk club and I strongly believe if Wroxham can't be successful then I always want to see a Norfolk team go on and do well. It's good for football in our local area to enjoy some success.'

Tickets for Saturday's second leg can be purchased in advance from the club 01603 400300. Admission prices: �8 adults, �5 concessions and �3 for children under 12.

Tickets are also available in advance from Dolphin Autos, Swanton Road in Norwich, Hazell Butchers, Corbet Avenue, Sprowston, Roy's of Wroxham and at the Norfolk FA football development centre in Bowthorpe by ringing 01603 748944.