Carlisle United travelled in style to get to Crawley today, ahead of what is a massive fixture, thanks to next season’s main club sponsor, Virgin Trains, who stepped in to help the Blues as they look for a maximum six points from the final week of the campaign.
The squad were treated to First Class service after boarding the 12:49 from Carlisle on Monday and were whisked down to London in just 3 hours and 23 minutes.
Carlisle United commercial director Dick Young said: “Virgin Trains started to speak to us about the possibility of helping the manager and his team get to this game as soon as it was confirmed that the original fixture was postponed. They acted quickly to set the wheels in motion, and to finalise the travel details, and we are delighted the team and staff were able to complete such a crucial phase of the overall preparation for such an important fixture in this way.
“Yet again this is another example of how closely Virgin Trains want to work with the club, not just with sponsorship, but in many other areas. This is a particularly welcome gesture and we thank everyone involved for making it a possibility.”
First team manager Graham Kavanagh said: “We are faced with a lot of extremely long journeys, because of our location, and you have to factor that into the planning process for every trip you make. Crawley is one of our longest, in terms of distance and time, and it is fantastic that Virgin Trains are going to help us with what is a difficult trip, particularly in midweek. This will help us to get the lads in the right frame of mind for a game we know we need to win.”
Stuart Davison, Virgin Trains’ Customer Experience Manager, said: “The stakes couldn’t be higher for United and we want to do our bit to make sure the team get a chance to relax, unwind and prepare themselves for the match.
“They’ll be getting the complimentary food and soft drinks we offer to First Class passengers though obviously we’ll have to keep the champagne on ice for now as we await the result on Tuesday.”
Virgin Trains is currently the club travel partner but steps up next season to be main shirt sponsor in a two-year deal.
As part of the sponsorship, season ticket holders will be entitled to 25% discount on all Advance fare bookings with Virgin Trains.