A HARROGATE pub football team has enlisted the help of two Premiership stars over the summer after narrowly avoiding relegation last year.
Following a disappointing season during which they finished third from bottom in the Harrogate League second division, the Coach and Horses manager Ben Rome decided to enlist a little extra help for the new season by bringing in ex Sheffield United, Everton and Blackburn defender Craig Short, and Sunderland and former England U-21s defender Matthew Kilgallon.
The pair attended various pre-season coaching sessions on the Stray, employing professional training drills to put the players through their paces and work off their summer beer bellies.
Craig Short, 42, who was sacked as Notts County manager last year, said: “I was expecting a pub team to be pretty terrible but actually the lads worked very hard and I was very impressed.
“There was a lot of determination there.
“Whatever happened in the past they seemed a very dedicated bunch and I’m sure they can step up this year.”
Mr Rome, 31, himself a former fitness coach at Notts County who is now a personal trainer at Nuffield Health Club in Harrogate, said: “I was delighted they could help out.
“The training sessions were pretty tough and not far short of what the professionals would go through but I was very proud of the lads.
“John Nelson, the landlord of the Coach and Horses, has been very kind to us over the years, helping out with money for kit and so on.
“Hopefully this year we can repay that.”