By Kirsty Topping
THE future of a children’s football team has been put in doubt after thieves stole their goalposts.
Crooks cut the aluminium crossbars from two sets of goals owned by Easthouses Football Club in Midlothian, just days before the start of the start of the new seven-a-side season.
The team now faces a bill of more than £3000 to replace the wrecked equipment.
Around 30 children aged 8-11 have been left disappointed by the theft, with club chiefs saying they have little hope of getting new goals before the season began.
The crossbars from a metal container in Easthouses Park last week but bizarrely the robbers left the rest of the goalposts and brass items which were also kept in the box.
Club chairman Stuart Maclean said: “They stole the four aluminium crossbars and left the nets and goalposts, which we found quite strange
“The strangest thing is that in the container where everything is kept, there are brass bars too, which we thought they would have taken if they were maybe looking to make a bit of money. We checked everywhere – in the hedges and bushes – but couldn’t find the crossbars anywhere.
“This is going to cause us a major problem so close to the start of the season. We have three soccer sevens teams and they normally play two home games and one away on a Sunday.
“We have managed to get a temporary solution, which is more like five-a-side goals, from Newbattle High School, but they’re not the proper ones we need. We still need new goals for the start of the season”
He said that the storage box appeard to have been attacked with a hammer and that thieves had damaged the handle and lock on the box.
“The container is in the middle of the park where the pitches are,” said Stuart. “So you would think someone would have seen them walking up the street with the crossbars, unless they went through the woods.”
“The corner flags had been taken out and chucked into the woods but the nets were still in the container.
“I was gutted to be honest because obviously there are kids from eight years upwards who can’t play football without goals.”
Replacement goals are likely to cost between £500 and £800 each and Stuart has appealed to anyone who can help the club replace them.
The 32-year-old added: “I would ask local businesses or anybody that can help to donate. We just don’t have that sort of money – we are only a small club.
“We will just have to keep using the goalposts we have got at the moment but it’s not practical using them in the long term.”