East Dunbartonshire kids coach calls out foul play

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A junior football coach has cried ‘foul’ over irresponsible dog walkers creating a health hazard for children on the football pitch.

The East Dunbartonshire FC 2004’s football club coach Gary Ross said play had to be stopped twice on the grass park at Merkland in Kirkintilloch on Saturday.

The angry coach said: “Young kids are playing on this park and could land on this, or worse, the mess could get into cuts or even mouths.

“On Saturday morning we had to lift 10 turds off the park. The game was stopped twice by the ref.”

He added: “Apart from being disgusting, it is a health hazard.”

Gary also made a plea on a community Facebook page to dog walkers in the area: “Could you please stop letting your pets defecate on the park and if they do, can you pick it up.”

His appeal attracted 
dozens of comments from 
local people.

One posted: “I used to run on the track there and glad I don’t have to any more. Dog mess on the grass inside the track and around it. I witnessed a woman let her dog mess in front of the dog responsibilities sign. Sad times.”

A former coach posted: “Had the same problem when I coached Rossdale 89s at Huntershill.”

One dog walker agreed but added that litter left behind after a game was a concern, too.

She posted: “I sometimes walk my dog there and always pick up after him. I agree there too much left there on the ground and that needs to be addressed but I also feel the amount of rubbish, plastic/glass bottles left from a game also needs addressing.”

Thomas Glen, Depute Chief Executive - Place, Neighbourhood and Corporate Assets, said: “While most dog walkers are responsible, a minority continues

with this anti-social behaviour.

“Our Greenspace Team inspect pitches each Friday morning and our Community Safety Team target their patrols based on information from the public.

“We will ensure that additional patrols are carried out in and around the area of Merkland Outdoor Recreation Centre and if any offences are witnessed the appropriate enforcement action will be taken.

“If anyone has specific information with regards to times and dates when offences are been committed or descriptions of any dogs responsible, these can be passed to the Council by phoning 0300 123 4517 and asking for the Community Safety Team or by e-mailing antisocialbehaviour@eastdunbarton.gov.uk”