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CHIPPENHAM TOWN: Park could add spark
CHIPPENHAM Town vice-chairman Neil Blackmore expects the Bluebirds to feel the benefits of feeder club Chippenham Park if they clinch promotion to the Toolstation Western League next season.
Park, currently second in the Wiltshire League Premier Division, have applied for promotion and, as the only club to do so from their level, now need to secure a top-five finish to go up.
Blackmore, who will replace John Applegate as Bluebirds chairman next season, said: “If we can get Park up to the Western League, the gap between them and the first team will be a lot smaller.
“The first team will benefit because Nathan (Rudge) will be able to give players coming back from injury or who need minutes a game at a good level and see if any of our young talent are good enough to become involved with the first team.
“Park have attracted their own sponsors and we don’t have a paying gate at the moment – but that would probably change next year too.
“We’ve also had discussions with Nathan and Rich about paying players because they’ve got a lot of Western League level experience, but it’s like anything. We’ll have to cut our cloth accordingly.’’
Park manager Dave Ferris added: “We’ve just got to make sure that we finish in as high a position as possible this season and if we can go up, we’d have to look to add a bit of experience to the young side we’ve got.
“Chippenham Town have, in my humble opinion, two very good guys in charge so I think it might even give them added impetus to get up to the Conference.”
Park’s Reserves, currently second in Wiltshire League Division One, face a stumbling block in their bid for Premier Division promotion as Wiltshire FA rules only allow 25 per cent of teams in the league to be reserve sides.