Footballers feel kicked

PUBLISHED: 14:00 05 January 2012

Weston St John's Junior Footballers.

Weston St John's Junior Footballers.

Archant

A GROUP of junior footballers and their manager are reeling after all of their training equipment was destroyed in an arson attack.

Weston St Johns Junior Football Club, based in Coleridge Road had portable goalposts, its corner flags, nets, footballs and cones destroyed in a deliberate blaze on Friday.

The juniors’ manager Gene Sprague said he could not believe what had happened and is worried his under 14s team will not be able to train properly for a long time.

He said: “All we have is our normal main goals on the pitch, we don’t have any training equipment left.

“Now it’s all a broken melted mess. I was gobsmacked when I found out, why would anybody want to do this?”

The equipment was stored on the club’s site, in a wooden container and Avon and Somerset Fire and Rescue Service have confirmed the incident as deliberate.

Avon and Somerset police had reports of the fire at around 2.30pm on Friday. It believes the fire was started overnight and is currently investigating the incident.

Mr Sprague added: “said: “The container has been broken into before, where I think children have taken the goals to play with them, but have always put them back. So we stopped locking it as it would only get broken again.

“But what would anyone get from this. They did not steal to gain, they just destroyed it. We were going to start back training this week, but now we are definitely going to struggle. We have been left with nothing.”

Now Gene, who has been manager of the juniors’ group for 12 years, and his team will have to put all of their efforts into raising money to get their equipment back.

He said: “We are always fundraising just to keep our costs down so now we will have to do even more to try to replace the equipment we have lost.”

The police are appealing for anyone with information to contact them on 101.

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