Training ground wrecked and dugout demolished by yobs

VANDALS in a stolen car wreaked havoc at Doncaster Rovers' training ground, ploughing up the pitch and demolishing a concrete dugout.

The wreckers first rammed the blue Ford Ka into the training ground gate which held firm, but then managed to get the vehicle through a gap in the fence and onto the pitches.

The car was driven at one of the concrete dugouts, demolishing most of it, as well as cutting up the pitches with the tyres.

Residents who live near the Cantley Park ground say the yobs should have been kept out by a heavy steel barrier.

Duncan Matthews says he cannot understand why a new barrier recently installed at the entrance to Cantley Park, off Ascot Avenue, is not closed at night.

He says he walks his dog on the park most nights and always keeps an eye on the Rovers training complex because of previous vandalism at the premises, including the theft of lengths of fencing.

But he was not around when the Ford Ka was rammed into the gates.

A council compound within the park has also been broken into twice in recent weeks.

At other times boy racers have been driving their cars across local authority pitches, churning up the surface.

Duncan, a Rovers fan, is a former chairman of Cantley Tenants and Residents' Association and has lived near the park for 40 years.

He said: "I believe it's the only park in Doncaster where vehicles can gain access at night and that is wrong. The park is a lovely space and it is being ruined by these people. We also get drug users driving there to take drugs.

"It is also costing the Rovers a lot of money in repairs and something should be done to stop it.

"The council has put up this new barrier but for some reason isn't locking it at night. I've offered to do it myself if they gave me a key but it seems to be getting nowhere."

The council's Director of Neighbourhoods and Communities, Jane Miller, said: "We are aware of a recent incident of vandalism at Cantley Park concerning Doncaster Rovers Football Club's training ground. We are in communication with officials at the football club in order to ensure the barriers to the park will be closed and locked overnight."

Anyone with information should call police on 0114 2202020 quoting incident number 442 of December 19.