Wroxham get the England treatment
Paddy DavittWroxham have scored the first victory ahead of next month's FA Vase final at Wembley against Whitley Bay by winning the toss for choice of kit. The Yachtsmen will appear at the national stadium in their traditional blue and white striped shirts on May 9 with the holders switching to their away yellow and blue kit.Paddy Davitt
Wroxham have scored the first victory ahead of next month's FA Vase final at Wembley against Whitley Bay by winning the toss for choice of kit.
The Yachtsmen will appear at the national stadium in their traditional blue and white striped shirts on May 9 with the holders switching to their away yellow and blue kit.
Wroxham have also been handed the dressing room used by Fabio Capello's England side following a meeting at Wembley between FA officials and representatives from both clubs.
The finalists will receive an initial 6,500 ticket allocation each for the showpiece occasion with tickets, priced �25 and �12.50 for under-16s, on sale from today direct from Trafford Park and selected outlets.
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Long-serving Wroxham official Kenny Cooke was part of the club's Wembley delegation and is appealing to Norfolk football followers to play their part.
'We are relying on the Norfolk people to come and support us,' he said. 'Our crowd numbers are abysmal, to be frank, but this is generating so much interest in a 60 or 70 mile radius around the county.
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'I think a lot of people will take the opportunity to have a day out down there. It's not as if we have to travel thousands of miles - you can comfortably get down there and back in a day. I think the FA looked at last season's attendance for the final, which was around 13,000, so they've given us half of that.
'The two clubs get a commission on what both sell so it's a combined total, but really we can as have as many as we want. We've got the first two tiers from the halfway line sweeping around to the left as you would see it watching on the television.'
Cooke is optimistic Norfolk's business community will also want to be associated with the Yachtsmen's push for FA Vase glory.
'We've got feelers out everywhere but we only really have a month and I know money is tight at the minute,' he said. 'But if there are any companies or individuals out there who want to sponsor us - from new kit, to tracksuits, training tops or anything else - then please get in touch. This is a one off big occasion that we hope can also set us up for next season and beyond.
'We've had so many calls already about this game and its great that Norwich City have also allowed us to use their ticket system facilities. The manager has a few contacts at the club and we used Colney a few rounds ago to train. I know they allowed Lowestoft to use the same facility prior to the final when they got there and I'm sure they will want to do anything they can to help us, which is great to see.'
Wroxham have already banked just under �30,000 in prize money alone from reaching Wembley but Cooke is looking for longer term benefits.
'It won't be far off �30,000 now,' he said. 'The thing is, though, in those early rounds going away to Gorleston, Northampton Spencer and Halstead you don't get many people paying to go in. We didn't even get enough money to cover the coach costs or pay the match officials. You really run at a lost for the first half a dozen games.
'At this stage it's too early to put a figure on what it might mean to us financially because we don't know how the tickets will sell or how much commercial interest we can attract. The only thing that I would hope we see is what happened both when Diss won it and Lowestoft got to the final. On the back of FA Vase success gates went up. Since Lowestoft got that FA Vase run they are now attracting 700 or 800. Whether that would work with us I don't know but it could help us kick on again.'
Tickets for Wroxham's FA Vase final against Whitley Bay on Sunday, May 9 are priced �25 and �12.50 for under 16s. No other concessions are available.
Tickets will be on sale from today at the following outlets:
Trafford Park, 01603 783538
Norwich City FC ticketline, 0844 8261902; Norfolk Arena ticketline, 01553 771111; Wymondham snooker club, 01953 602318; Dolphin Autos, Swanton Road, Norwich, 01603 400300.
t Tickets can also be purchased in person at Hazell Butchers, Sprowston and Roys of Wroxham or postal applications by emailing email@example.com
t The club are advising fans to arrange travel plans in advance with the cheapest Wembley parking priced �28.
t Dolphins Autos (01603 400300) and Skyplane Travel in Norwich (01603 424010) both plan to run coaches to the game. Match tickets can also be purchased from both outlets.