A FOOTBALL club has called for action on anti-social behaviour after a portable cabin was “mindlessly” destroyed after being set on fire.

North Wales Fire and Rescue Service sent two crews to Prestatyn Town FC ground Bastion Gardens following the arson incident at an academy cabin on Thursday, April 1.

It follows a spate of incidents including a break-in at the ground clubhouse on February 17 during which equipment was damaged and charity boxes were stolen. Andrew Ruscoe, general manager for Prestatyn Town FC, tweeted: “This is a disgrace! Seriously why would anyone want to do this to a football club that engages the children, the community and provides opportunity to its community.”

Chairman Jamie Welsh said club volunteers have been “working tirelessly” to prepare the ground in recent weeks.

Mr Welsh said: “Volunteers spent all weekend getting the pitch and areas around the ground ready to be able to use once lockdown has ended so for a gang of idiots to do that now is hugely disappointing. It is an ongoing problem that we have with youths on the pitch and a recent incident saw volunteers receive a torrent of abuse. We understand they have nowhere to go at the moment and we are trying to work with the council to find a solution.”

 Damage to the inside of the portacabin which had included football equipment and backroom staff. Picture: Prestatyn Town FC/Twitter

Damage to the inside of the portacabin which had included football equipment and backroom staff. Picture: Prestatyn Town FC/Twitter

Mr Welsh said there has been a huge community response to raise donations to replace lost equipment. “Everyone is determined to grow stronger from it, to take the setback and move on,” he said.

Prestatyn Town FC general director Andrew Ruscoe said there has been huge support for the club following the incident.

The club has been flooded with well-wishes and about £200 has been donated so far. Mr Ruscoe said the support could provide a springboard for future engagement with the community.

“The fire has been a shock and we know it was arson because there were no electricals in the room,” he said. “We have informed the police and they are investigating it.

“We understand as a club that people are going through tough times and don’t just want to say a young person has done it because that young person may be needing support.

“We want to turn a negative into a positive and be more of a pillar in the community rather than just a football club. We want to explore community projects and if we can get the funding we would carry out preventative work in schools.”

The club’s academy teams returned to training and competitive matches from Monday, March 29 with the lifting of coronavirus restrictions on under-18s outdoor activities.

“The cabin was going to be used for the academy but obviously our plans have gone out of the window,” added Mr Ruscoe.

“Going forwards, community focus has got to be the key and we are open to people who want to work with us.”