THE latest signing of Oxford City FC is a renowned Michelin-starred chef to change the 'junk food culture'.

With a wealth of kitchen experience under his belt 36-year-old Dan Craddock was hired to deliver healthy food to footballers accustomed to the 'pie and chips'.

Players at Oxford City FC and its football and education academy Velocity will be treated to a healthy menu following the appointment of the new catering manager.

Mr Craddock will be given a blank canvass to create a menu of 'fresh, fun, and nutritional dishes' and 'transform' their eating habits.

Explaining why healthy food is important for athletes the chef said: "For me, looking after your health and refuelling sensibly is an essential part of working within sport which is why joining the team appealed to me.

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"This is not about making the food boring and bland.

"It is about identifying the differing demands for each age group and serving healthy food that will encourage the next generation to cut out needless intake of sugar and salt that can be damaging to a person’s health."

After serving as restaurant manager at the prestigious five-star Alexander House in West Sussex, the Manchester-born chef moved to Leamington Spa, Warwickshire, to work at Michelin Star accredited hotel Mallory Court.

Mr Craddock then relocated to Oxfordshire where he took on a management role at the Crazy Bear in Stadhampton.

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He commented: "With my background in food, beverage, and restaurant management, I have the chance to progress and move the food forward at Velocity and Oxford City FC.

"I will be able to offer healthier alternatives to improve students’ and players’ wellbeing.

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"There has been a junk food culture in sport for years, but times are changing.

"I am thrilled that Velocity Football has given me this opportunity."

Velocity Football is the revamped full-time academy for 16-18-year-olds and 19-23-year-olds that combines football and sport business with education.

A spokesperson for the football club said that the appointment of Mr Craddock forms part of the youth programme's strategy to provide a 'positive and nurturing environment for students to flourish'.

Velocity is set to deliver separate programmes for males and females, led by head coaches Mickey Lewis and Lauren Haynes.

Students who join the football club’s academy will also receiving wider development via coaching modules, academic education, and work experience within the football club.