YOUNG footballers eager to kick off a new season were distraught to find goalpost thieves had targeted their pitch.
Eccleshall Eagles are currently fund-raising to fulfil their dream of new facilities and are bidding to secure cash from the Lloyds Bank Community Grant.
But the award-winning club was dealt a blow on Friday when the under 9s team turned up at Pershall Park for their first training session of the season to discover their goalposts missing.
The plastic posts were bought just a year ago following a donation to the club and were worth around £250. They were last seen a week before the training session.
Platinums Under 9’s manager Mark Taggart said: “To say the kids were devastated was an understatement as they have all trained so hard as a team and the parents have even helped maintain the site, only to find that some heartless individual has undone all the good work of the last few years in a few thoughtless moments.
“The children were really upset, but we carried on and reverted to putting down shirts for the goals and continued to train as usual.
“We will obviously need a new set of goals for the first home game of the season and the team have talked about clubbing together and raising some money by undertaking a sponsored bag packing session or car wash at one of the local supermarkets over the next few weeks, if we can.” Club chairman Jon Busfield urged anyone who may know where the goals were to contact the club or police.
But he added: “I don’t expect miracles though as they are probably long gone. I guess it means that we will have to replace the goals quickly and one of the teams will have to wait another year to replace its kit.
“We are currently trying to buy land and create new facilities but instead we have been put back again.
“One practical thing people may be able to do for the club is to vote for us and help us secure the Lloyds Bank Community Grant.
The club has got through to the final round of the competition, and every vote counts.
“If successful we could use some of that money to help replace the goals.
“It is not what we were planning but sometimes events take us by surprise and we would be grateful for anything that anyone could for the club.” Anyone who wants to vote for Eccleshall Eagles should text Vote ST1 to 61119 or alternatively visit https://www.lloydsbankinggroup communities.com /Community- Fund/ before midnight on Sunday.