Frustrated grassroots football volunteers have spoken of their anger after vandals damaged junior pitches – again.
Officials of Alnwick Town Junior Football Club were dismayed to find tyre tracks driven into the grass surface at Greensfield.
The incident happened sometime last week and the damage will be difficult to repair.
Last season, the club lost another pitch because of a similar incident of vandalism.
A post on the Alnwick Town Juniors’ Facebook page, which was accompanied by numerous pictures of the damage, stated: ‘It is with great anger that we have to report another incident of vandalism to our volunteer-looked-after pitches. At least one individual has driven and turned over the pitch shared by our two U15 teams.
‘The damage stretches from the corner of the pitch right the way to the centre circle and, at this time of year, is extremely difficult to repair. This is a pitch that is clearly marked with paint.
‘Last season we lost our 9v9 pitch completely due to similar action. We have a strong group of volunteers who put in thousands of unpaid hours each year into maintaining and improving our playing areas. To some people, this would be enough to make them give up!’
The club recently received planning permission to build £1million state-of-the-art facilities at Greensfield, complete with full-size floodlit pitch with synthetic surface, as well as a clubhouse and changing area.
The Facebook statement added: ‘We are working incredibly hard to improve our facilities and will soon be starting work on the artificial pitch (to go alongside our grass pitches) and new clubhouse. We could do without these incidents of vandalism, as could our 200-plus players.’
It further said: ‘On a separate note we still have problems with dog mess around our pitches. Most people, we must say, walk their pets vigilantly and sensibly. This includes walking away from the pitches, many using the next field. But some individuals continue to allow their animals to run free (sometimes while they remain in the car) and foul wherever they please.’