Irlam JFC

Irlam FC bosses have spoken of their disappointment after the team’s pitch was vandalised once again.

The club, which competes in the Northern Counties Premier League, recovered from damage to its home ground in October.

However, vandals have now broken security barriers around the pitch.

The pitch is also home to Irlam JFC, a juniors’ football club with over 60 local children playing regularly.

Junior leagues have rules which state that players on the pitch must be separated from the spectators. Without the barriers, the children are not be allowed to play.

Managers have given up several days of their own time to fix barriers around the pitch to improve the facility.

Volunteers have worked to improve Irlam FC’s pitch in recent years. Irlam JFC recently moved to the ground, so children could benefit from the facilities.

However, the vandalism was discovered on Sunday morning – after only six days of the new barriers being in place.

Steve Nixon, Irlam FC chairman, said: ‘’It’s just senseless vandalism from the few who must live within the vicinity of the ground.

‘’It’s just senseless vandalism from the few who must live within the vicinity of the ground.”

‘’We pride ourselves on the quality of the pitches and facilities, it’s unbelievable why they choose to do this.’’

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Just a few weeks ago, the juniors’ club announced that they had achieved the FA Charter Standard.

Lena Graham, Welfare Officer for the club, said: ‘’I am absolutely appalled that the safety of our players is in jeopardy due to the mindless acts of some local youths.

‘’Not only are the barrier required for the children to play in accordance with the FA league rules, they are also there to protect the pitches from damage.”

Ms Graham added: ‘’Any act of vandalism causes undue strain on our parents and club volunteers who invest their time and money to improve the facilities for local children.

‘’We are asking the community to be vigilant and report any instances of anti-social behaviour.’’

Residents have called for CCTV to be installed, to prevent further incidents.

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