A WEST FIFE football club have issued a plea to the community to "respect" their facility after further incidents of vandalism.

Kelty Hearts, who play in SPFL League One, have spoken out after what they say has been "an increase in instances" of damage being done to their New Central Park ground.

The football stadium, on Bath Street, has a capacity of 2,181 – 353 of which is seated – and has undergone extensive renovations in recent years.

Posting on social media, the club stated: "Following an increase in instances of vandalism at New Central Park of late we would like to ask the local community to respect the pitch and facilities at New Central Park.

"As a professional SPFL football club, it is important that we can maintain a standard of facilities for regular football to take place in Kelty."

As well as the addition of a seated stand, complete with four bays for wheelchair users, recent ground improvements include two covered enclosures; uncovered terracing behind both goals; catering facilities; a social club; a sports bar and hospitality lounge; and a club shop.

It also boasts an artificial pitch which, in addition to the senior team, is used by players affiliated to Kelty Hearts Community Club, as well as the local community.

A Kelty Hearts spokesperson added: "There is currently in excess of 250 players with our community club here at New Central Park and we would like to ensure we can all look after the facilities to enable regular use from the football club, community club and initiatives such as Friday Football with Fife Active.

"We hope to see many of you down at New Central Park for our new campaign and to support the local community club."

Last August, the club hit out at "severe vandalism" that left them facing a "considerable sum" to repair their pitch, parts of which had been burned, whilst club buildings were subjected to anti-social behaviour, which saw damage caused to the stand, enclosures and perimeter fencing.

The club's catering facilities were also targeted, with "one being ransacked, again causing losses to stock and damage to equipment".