1:17pm Wednesday 7th August 2013
CALDICOT Town’s ground was forced to close for at least a fortnight after a player was left seriously injured by glass left on the pitch by anti-social yobs.
The Caldicot Town AFC player required an ambulance and stitches after a serious cut to the knee during a match against Cwmbran Celtic on July 27.
After a health and safety inspection, the council decided to stop matches being played on the King George V playing fields until it could be sure the pitch was safe.
A meeting with the council yesterday morning yielded no definite time for when the pitch would reopen but Steve Bright, club secretary, said: “Our first league game is on August 17 so the plan is to get it open for that date.”
A statement on the club’s website stated: “The club are very disappointed not to be playing on the fields but the welfare of its playing members is of paramount concern first and foremost and we wish the injured player a speedy recovery.
“Meantime there is obvious concern for the mindless actions of some very idiotic few who think that smashing empty beer bottles in the stand and then throwing the shards of glass onto a football pitch where both senior and junior sides play football is hard to comprehend.
Unfortunately apart from continuing to dial 101 every time we have incidents of anti-social behaviour, it seems the club have very little power.”
Club members described a persistent problem of young people hanging around at the club, leaving bottles and cans and smashing glass in the stands then throwing it on to the pitch.
Matches have had to be played on alternative pitches as the club and council try to decide the best course of action.
The club’s home friendly against Porthcawl was cancelled, while a home match against Bristol side Hallan was played at Portskewett’s pitch, also home to Blackrock Rovers.
A match against Porth AFC also had to find an alternative venue.
The club’s statement said other clubs in the Welsh League have suffered similar problems, with Bettws, Croesceiliog and Caerau Ely installing electric roller shutters or gates across the stand entrance as a preventative measure.
Caldicot Town Council is a trustee of the town’s pitch, with the power to decide whether it should be open or closed. Cllr Davies, from Caldicot Town Council, said: “The council’s health and safety committee visited the pitch and decided it should be closed.
“It’s in nobody’s interests to have the football club off the field for too long.”
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