Seaford Town Football Club looking to build fence to prevent "weekly episodes" of vandalism

Seaford Town Football Club is looking to build a perimeter fence to prevent weekly episodes of vandalism.

The club play at The Crouch Gardens in the centre of town, an open park ground with five different entry points - which the club say they struggle to monitor.

This week, the club has seen a new table snapped, its goal nets ripped down and a ticket booth pushed over and its roof broken off.

Tom Webster, Chairman of Seaford Town FC, said: “It seems like it’s been going on forever.

This week, the club has seen a new table snapped, its goal nets ripped down and a ticket booth pushed over and its roof broken off.

"The Crouch is a bit of a vandalism hotspot. Since I was a kid it has never stopped, because of the open nature of the park, it’s become a place where kids congregate and it's always been subject to vandalism.”

Four months ago, the club had a proposal accepted by the town council to build a 6 ft perimeter fence - giving them an enclosed pitch like the majority of other teams across Sussex and Surrey who play at Step 6 in the football pyramid.

The club also said the fence would stop vandalism and dog walkers – who are using the pitch area to exercise their pets on a daily basis.

Tom said: “Dog walkers exercise their dogs on the pitch, so all the work we do to get the pitch to a good standard is undone by those who exercise their dog on theirs and don’t pick up their waste.

The club also said the fence would stop vandalism and dog walkers – who are using the pitch area to exercise their pets on a daily basis.

“Additional footfall damages the pitch and hazardous dog waste which is often left behind is a danger if gets into the eyes, nose or mouth of players and can mean a trip to the hospital. Dog urine is also toxic to grass and kills off patches of grass where a dog has urinated.

“So it’s just a constant uphill battle because everything we do at the club is undone by people not using or respecting the pitch properly.”

The fence will have open gates which the public are free to walk through, but the club said it would ask that when walking through the fenced area that dogs are kept on leads to avoid spoiling the pitch.

Tom also said fence would protect its inclusive teams who train every Saturday morning.

Four months ago, the club had a proposal accepted by the town council to build a 6 ft perimeter fence - giving them an enclosed pitch like the majority of other teams across Sussex and Surrey who play at Step 6 in the football pyramid.

He said: “We have inclusive teams which are disability football clubs - kids with additional social needs, physical needs - who train every Saturday morning at The Crouch. Dog walkers will just let people run in the middle of those training sessions.

“With those additional needs - it’s highly distracting, some of those kids are scared of dogs and its a pretty constant thing - every other week there’s a dog running in the middle of their training session.”

After the council approved the club’s plans, local residents and dog walkers started a paper petition to block the building of the fence.

In response, the club has started a petition - confirming to the council that their decision was correct.

HAVE YOU READ THIS?

Tom said: “We don’t want a couple of inconsiderate people that don’t want it to overtake what the town wants and needs.

“By building the fence we can say when you are inside the fence, you are inside the football ground. So, you must respect it as a football ground.

“Where as without a fence, I don’t think we will ever get that respect because it will just look like a football pitch in the middle of a field.”

To sign the club’s petition click here