'Keep your grubby hands off' - vandals' wrecking spree at football club
- Credit: Debbie Jones
A grassroots football club plagued by "mindless vandalism" is pleading for help to keep teenagers' "grubby hands" off its treasured equipment.
Debbie Jones, Secretary of Drayton Youth Football Club, said the voluntary-run organisation had suffered from a series of vandalism attacks since the easing of lockdown restrictions in April.
She said: "I don't know whether local kids are bored or what, but they've been wrecking absolutely everything lately. It's so disappointing.
"It's just mindless vandalism. The seven teams who make up our community football club are gutted. They've missed so much of the sport due to the pandemic, and now that we have a chance to get back into it all our equipment is being trashed."
The latest spate of incidents involved teenagers kicking the wheels off the under-11s goalposts, breaking the stanchions on the under-15 posts, breaking into the lean-to storage facility and damaging equipment and gaining access to the council-run pavilion and flooding it.
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For the last few league games in the season, a "makeshift" structure is replacing the damaged goalposts - something Ms Jones said is a "kick in the teeth" for a club of real talent.
She said: "Drayton Jaguars under-8s were the runners up in the recent county cup league out of 42 teams. There's real talent among our players and people are taking opportunities away from them."
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Run entirely on parent contribution fees, Ms Jones said the council's quote for a secure, caged pen with a wired perimeter was "sky high" and way above what the club could ever afford.
She explained: "Our current lean-to by the pavilion is far too small and is now compromised. It's just a little structure with a wooden gate, which the vandals have very easily broken into.
"The club can't afford the council's quote, but the council has said nothing about us investing in a storage facility of our own back."
Ms Jones said the club was imploring local businesses to help out - either by donating or providing materials/labour to build a secure storage facility.
"We'd be more than happy to advertise whichever business helped us out", she explained. "That's the least we could do.
"All we need is something that will encourage these vandals to keep their grubby hands off our equipment."
Can you help Drayton Youth FC? Email email@example.com