Footballers in Stubbington left angry over council decision to move the goalposts

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FOOTBALL players in Stubbington are fighting for goalposts and nets to be left up all year round.

And they have the backing of Cllr Chris Wood, who represents Crofton on the county council and Stubbington on Fareham Borough Council.

Councillor Chris Wood with young footballers from Stubbington Youth FC. 'Picture: Ian Hargreaves (142529-2)

Councillor Chris Wood with young footballers from Stubbington Youth FC. 'Picture: Ian Hargreaves (142529-2)

He has criticised the bureaucrats responsible for removing the goals during the summer holidays.

He said that youngsters were left disappointed and are being discouraged from playing sport at Stubbington Recreation Ground due to the lack of goals.

Cllr Wood said: ‘Playing football can be a highlight for some families. Having no goals is ridiculous.

‘We should be encouraging children to play sport, not putting them off.’

Fareham Borough Council removes the goals and puts them back up for the football season from September to April.

Paul Buckland is the coach of the Stubbington Kestrels under-13s team, which plays on Stubbington Rec. He said he could not understand why the council removes all six goals on the Rec during the summer. Mr Buckland said he appreciates the need to remove some to make way for the cricket pitch, but he would like to see two remain.

Mr Buckland, of Conqueror Way, Stubbington, said: ‘There’s nothing at all there over the summer.

‘I know there is a need to remove some and that the ground needs time to recover before the new season, but they could turn them around in the opposite direction,

‘They do not need to take all six up, even if there was just two left, it would mean the kids could come and play and train.’

Executive member for leisure and community Cllr Connie Hockley said the council would be holding a consultation later this year to reassess how it deals with its recreation grounds.

She said: ‘Playing football on the council’s recreation grounds during the summer can normally be accommodated informally without the need for additional goalposts to be erected.

‘The council will shortly be undertaking a review of all play facilities, including football goalposts for informal use.

‘The installation of new equipment will only be considered where a clear need is identified following consultation with the community and ward councillors.’

Cllr Wood encouraged people to participate and to let the council know that the goal posts were important to many young people.

He said: ‘It’s about time we saw some action on this. If the council believes there is no demand for football over the summer, then it clearly shows how out of touch it is.’