‘It will be sad if the lads have to find other teams’

CAN YOU HELP? The East Lodge Mustangs. Below, Sarah Woolrich and her son Liam Cranley

CAN YOU HELP? The East Lodge Mustangs. Below, Sarah Woolrich and her son Liam Cranley

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THEY have bonded together like a band of brothers and now they are facing a future of not being able to play together.

The East Lodge Mustangs who train at Redwood Park School in Cosham are about to lose their manager and face closure.

The boys that are all under 14 have been playing in the Portsmouth Lads’ League for four years.

Dave Hill, chairman of East Lodge Youth FC that runs a group of teams said: ‘It will be sad if the lads have to find other teams to go to but it is hard to find managers these days due to the qualifications that they have to have.’

Parents have expressed their concern about the loss of the team’s manager.

Sarah Woolrich – whose son Liam Cranley has cystic fibrosis plays for the team – said: ‘It has really helped Liam with his health.

‘If the team closes then his health would drastically deteriorate as the exercise is good for him.’

The boys all attend Springfield School, Drayton and many of them are friends on the pitch as well as off.

Lewis Jeffery, 14, has played for the team since his friend asked him to go along to a training session.

His mum Tracy said: ‘As Lewis suffers with Asperger’s he struggles with social interaction so I couldn’t imagine him wanting to join another team – it is this team or nothing.

‘For years he never did any after school activities as he found it awkward but since then his confidence has grown enormously and he has become a bit better football player.’

The new manager will need to be available to train Wednesday evening from 7-8pm, Saturday at 9am-10.30am and matches on a Sunday.

Sarah said: ‘All the parents are desperate to keep the boys together and will help with admin or wherever is needed if we find someone.

‘The club would sort out any training that is needed and a CRB check for the new manager.’

For anyone that is interested they can contact Sarah on 07775 746770.

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