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Football club pleads for help as vandals trash Gabalfa football pitch with 4×4

A FOOTBALL club in Gabalfa has made a plea for help after vandals trashed their football pitch with a 4×4.

Cardiff Draconians play at two pitches near Lydstep Flats, one surrounded by two fences and with a stand, and another pitch with no fence. The bottom pitch without a fence is used by the youth teams. But now that pitch needs major work to repair the grass.

While walking his dog on Tuesday morning, January 26, club committee member Mark Davies saw four men in a 4×4 driving ‘donuts’ around the bottom pitch. When the men saw him, Mr Davies said they shouted abuse and gave him the finger, before driving off.

Now the club is calling for help, as this isn’t the first time vandals have wrecked the pitch. The club is hoping to get some help from Cardiff council, who own the land, as the pitch is also used informally by locals and the club said a fence would benefit the wider community.

When he saw the vandals, Mr Davies said he was “steaming”. He said: “I was furious when I saw them, steaming out the ears. They were telling me where to go. I was thinking, what’s wrong with you?”

Paul Jennings, another committee member, said: “A lot of time and effort went into getting that pitch up to standard. This is just heartbreaking. I hope we can spur the council to maybe put a barrier rail around the pitch. Other clubs have had it done by the council.”

Mr Jennings said the club had similar problems in the past with vandals wrecking the top pitch. But the club raised the funds itself for a barrier there “which works beautifully”. Recently, the club has paid for a stand and path around the top pitch, too.

He added: “We’re providing football for the community, but we have never had a cockle off the council. If the council could put a barrier around the pitch, it would stop this kind of damage. It would help the community.”

A Cardiff council spokesman said that the council has been working with the club for over a year to make ground improvements to their first pitch to enable them to achieve the criteria for the Welsh League. This includes a pitch barrier licence, permission for a gated perimeter fence and planning permission for a grandstand.

The spokesman said: “We sympathise with the club with what has happened and if they have concerns relating to the lower pitch, we welcome further discussions on how these can be addressed.”

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