Up to 200 soccer players will be forced to train at another ground for around a month after vandals tore up Trekardo Park leaving the soccer pitch unplayable and a safety hazard.
Ballarat Soccer Club secretary Shae Frary said the female team turned up for training on Sunday to find the ground damaged after unknown offenders did a series of doughnuts on the once perfect pitch.
“We have up to 200 players from young tackers to seniors who train here up to five times a week,” Ms Frary said.
“They’re just starting training for the season which starts in April.”
The club usually plays home games at the ground which has just been fitted out with extra facilities including a children’s playground.
“It will have to be closed mainly due to safety reasons. It is the surface that has been damaged and it has to be roped off,” Ms Frary said.
Luckily the club has access to another field across the road however it lacks facilities including on-site toilets. Ms Frary said this posed an inconvenience particularly for the younger teams.
“The little tackers love playing here – particularly because of the size of the field,” Ms Frary said.
“We are just really disappointed that this has happened. I don’t think these people think about the effects this damage has.
“If they had a family member who was part of the club I think they would realise (its importance).”
The incident has been reported to police who are investigating.
Under 13’s midfielder Jay Frary said he was “really angry” that the vandalism would force him and his teammates to the other ground.
“We have to move to a difference field, this one is really good … because of the size of it.”
In 2016 Smythesdale Football Club was devastated after hoons destroyed its oval in the lead up to a highly anticipated game. Crimestoppers 1800 333 000.
Published first in the Ballarat Courier (Fairfax Media).