Girl power set to rise at Ottery St Mary FC
PUBLISHED: 09:57 26 July 2019 | UPDATED: 09:57 26 July 2019
The Ottery St Mary Football Club girls' section is set to expand, writes Steve Birley.
This coming season the Otters are expecting to field girls' teams at U11, U13 and U15 as well as their senior ladies' team.
With three junior teams it means the club is creating a section rich in depth and potentially able to provide a pathway to senior ladies' football from a young age and, with the Ottery ladies' senior team preparing for life in the Premier Division of the Devon Women's Football League there is a real air of optimism and fresh beginnings at Washbrook Meadow.
One man stands over all the exciting developments at the club and that is chairman Mikey Ringer, who is every bit a 'football man' with a passion for all things football.
He says: "For me the, mantra has to be that, whether it's men's or ladies' football, as a club, we need to be able to live within our means but also be mindful of our place in the local community and the fact we have a responsibility to provide a pathway from junior football into the senior ranks, be that a young boy or a young girl."
Supporting local charity is another issue very close to the chairman's heart and he says: "Every year we chose a charity for who we can collect at each of our home games and this coming season the men's team will be supporting Hospiscare and the ladies will be backing Little Princess Trust, which raises funds for children's wigs for those who lose their hair via cancer and alopecia. Both charities mean so much for all at the club."
One area that has presented a problem for the chairman has been sponsorship. He says: "It's been tough finding new sponsors, but I suspect that is linked to life in general at the moment. That said, we are delighted and indeed so grateful that so many local companies have got involved to date. That said, we are always so keen to have conversations with businesses of all sizes and standing and are very keen right now to find backers for team kit - a matter which has become all the more importance given that we are going to have to divert funds from within the club to cover the recent spate of vandalism at the club."
One area of change of late, particularly in terms of club organisation and management, is the overhaul of club committees with more local folk than ever taking roles in the club. To me this is a huge plus as I am so keen for us to continue to serve our local community. We are looking to put on events from key stage one and two summer picnics to complete family fun days to be held at Washbrook Meadow over the school break. Indeed, now that yours truly is chairman of both the main club and the youth section I am looking to bring the sections together to operate as 'one club' which is something I believe will make us that much stronger to face the challenge of the business in the years ahead."