THE committee of junior football club Kelty Hearts have warned they will "not hesitate" to call police if vandalism by youngsters continues.

Earlier this month the Times reported that club were concerned over a "nuisance" problem of underage drinking and damage caused to their all-weather pitch after describing their New Central Park ground, Bath Street, as a "hotspot for anti-social behaviour".

Treasurer George McTrusty revealed that, as well as youngsters using the ground to consume alcohol, the club have been forced to clean up glass from broken bottles and found burn marks and other damage caused to the playing surface.

Following our story, the club issued a statement encouraging the community to work together to "enjoy these wonderful facilities the way they should be used", and condemned vandalism including burn marks to the pitch, and damaged walls, cables, sponsor boards, football goals and nets.

It said: "Over the past 18 months or so the pitch has been permanently damaged, particularly in the goalmouths and penalty spots due to youths aged 6-18 years jumping on the park without paying every day/night to play football. On the whole there's no respect given to the pitch, the surroundings and the committee of Kelty Hearts and the Fife Council workforce.

"We have had, almost daily, bikes, scooters and unbelievably prams all going over the pitch. Once the artificial grass on the pitch has been flattened by this there is no way back for the grass to become upright again, thus making the pitch sub-standard and the money invested a complete waste.

"New Central Park is a magnificent facility that cost well over £1 million. Kelty Hearts have also invested tens of thousands of pounds on enclosures and storage buildings in place for the whole community to use.

"If anyone from Fife Council or the volunteers from Kelty Hearts tell the kids to leave the ground as they shouldn't be there then it is met with abuse, threats of violence and threats of further vandalism. No-one should have to put up with from anyone, especially not volunteers working for nothing trying their best to build a football club the village can be proud of."

They added: "We have held meetings with the police on these issues of misuse of the pitch, vandalism and underage drinking and they are on board with us. We won't hesitate to call them if any person is on the pitch or the surroundings who shouldn't be there. Added to this there will be CCTV going up over the next few weeks all around the ground and signs with everything explained.

"If we can all work together for the greater good of Kelty then we can enjoy these wonderful new facilities the way they should be used."