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Ely football club criticises ‘inconsiderate’ dog walkers

AN ELY football club has issued a warning to dog walkers, after parents complained about players returning home stained by dog mess.

Members of Cardiff Hibernian Football Club have spoken out against residents failing to clear up after their dogs at their home ground at North Ely Recreational Ground on Archer Road.

The news comes only one week after Welsh language rugby club Clwb Rygbi reported similar problems on Pontcanna playing fields, with four matches called off due to dog mess.

Cardiff Hibernian under-9s coach Leon Smith criticised irresponsible dog walkers as he explained: “I am the person who walks the pitches and has to pick up the dog poo with gloves and bags on before I let any of my children play football on the pitches.

“It’s such a shame how lazy and inconsiderate some dog owners are. I’ve supplied signs and doggy poo bags and people are still letting their dogs mess everywhere.”

Meanwhile parent Jackie Bull explained that her eight-year-old son returned from a match earlier this month with dog mess on his thermals.

The 47-year-old from Caerau said: “We went up to play and there was poo on the pitch which our coach Leon Smith had to remove before play. When we finished [my son] had poo on his skins which covered his knees.”

Mrs Bull criticised the problem, stating: “It’s not nice for the kids or us parents and it’s embarrassing for the club as we play teams from across Cardiff.”

In response to complaints from visiting football teams, chairman of community group Ely Garden Villagers Peter Sullivan has now put up signs around the ground urging people to take responsibility for their pets.

Mr Sullivan, who oversees the maintenance of Ely North Recreation Ground in his role as Ely Garden Villagers chairman, explained: “We put up 12 signs everywhere, on the lampposts and all around the large and mini pitches. We even put some on the goal posts- people have got to pass at least one of them when they walk their dogs.

“It’s dangerous, especially with the kids playing. We do pitch inspections before the match and the coaches have to pick it all up.”

Mr Sullivan also took to social media to voice his concern, stating: “Visiting football teams have complained about the dog mess left on the kid’s football pitches. If you walk your dog up the rec please make an effort and pick your dog crap up.”
However, Cardiff Hibernian FC junior secretary and Ely Village Gardeners secretary Lynda Sullivan added that the problem does not lie with all dog walkers.

She said: “I can see that people are using dog bags, some of the bins are quite full. But really there’s no excuse, I just don’t think that people care.”

Mrs Sullivan also explained that Ely Garden Villagers have already added four extra bins for dog waste on the grounds with the help of funding from the Tidy Towns scheme.  Dog bags are also available for free upon request.

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