Club’s Anger At Pitch Vandalism: The manager of an award-winning junior football team due to be visited by Real Madrid’s Youth Academy has spoken of his club’s frustration at constant vandalism to its pitches.
He spoke out following an announcement by police that one of the drivers who allegedly damaged the pitch has been reported for their act of vandalism.
The pitches, at the junction of Woodhead Road and Summerville Road in Lidget Green, have been plagued by vandals riding quad bikes, motorbikes and now 4×4 vehicles for at least the past five years, said Alpha United Juniors manager Mohammed Waheed.
Mr Waheed welcomed the work by the police being done to tackle anti-social behaviour on the fields, but said more action was necessary.
He said: “It’s been a huge problem for the club when you have this behaviour from people on quads, bikes and now cars.
“They create deep grooves and must be doing various manoeuvres when they are on the pitches.
“It is making us cancel matches and training and had to report it to the league to explain why we were cancelling so many games.
“Ultimately it affects the children who just want to play and takes it away from them, and makes us question if we can run a club in the area.
“It is not a great advert for the area and as a double national award-winning club it does not help when this is happening.
“The risk of getting injured is so much higher and opposition clubs do not want to risk playing on the pitch.
“We have Real Madrid’s Youth Academy Clinic coming next week too, to do sessions for the children.”
Mr Waheed said the club had been pushing for obstacles to be put in to stop vandals getting on the pitches.
“We have been asking for barriers to be put up around the pitch and to cut off the exit points to try and stop people getting on,” he continued.
“We have been reporting these problems for at least five years, and local residents have told us it has been going on for longer.
“Something needs to be done about it, we have had backing from the West Riding FA for barriers, they recognise the work we do in the community and want to help.”
Mr Waheed thanked police for catching one of the suspects who had damaged the pitches.
Officers in Bradford West identified the driver of a Mitsubishi Shogun, who had been seen driving across the pitch, thanks to help from members of the public.
The driver has been reported for inconsiderate driving in a public place.
A Facebook post from Bradford West NPT said: “Anti-social use of this particular field is being closely monitored by the ASB bike team who are in direct communication with residents.
“Vehicles are for roads, not football pitches!”
Mr Waheed added: “It’s good to see action being taken and more patrols from the Anti-Social Behaviour team being carried out, but more still needs to be done to catch the people responsible for this.”
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