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Footballers in 'hoodie' showdown

Created on 20/08/2010 @ 07:45


Fed up footballers came close to a showdown with local ‘hoodies’ on Wednesday night after turning up to training to find their grandstand smashed and broken glass strewn across the pitch.some of the bottles not smashed by the local youths
Players and officials of Guilsfield Football Club spent an hour cleaning up the mess left by a group of local youths who had broken dug outs; ripped out bricks in the grandstand; and smashed vodka bottles over the playing surface.
The spate of violent and drunken behaviour is the latest in a long line of incidents which have blighted community facilities this year and it almost came to a head with some players and officials willing to take the law into their own hands.
“It is an ongoing problem and I believe last night it almost came to a head when the lads saw for themselves the mess that this gang had made of the facilities and the pitch,” said Club Chairman Paul Harding. “There is a group of 14-16 year-olds causing these problems and it is a concern because they seem to be bringing in kids from outside of the village as well. The police have already been down several times and are doing their best but they can’t be here 24 hours a day.”
Mr. Harding confirmed that members of the committee had approached the mob previously and said one or two appeared to be “out of their trees” because of alcohol.
“It is a huge concern for the village, not just the football club, and all I can do is to urge parents of kids in that age bracket to ensure they know what they are up to and who with.”
While many villagers want to take a hard line, Mr. Harding has offered a compromise.
“We are more than happy for the kids to use the football facilities as a place to meet but all we ask is that they stop the vandalism because it is getting out of hand and costing us a lot of money,” he said.
Guilsfield Football Club has spent nearly 150,000 pounds over the past 10 years on facilities and is set to invest another 70,000 in the coming two years on floodlights.
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