The head coach at Haverhill Rugby Club has hit out at thoughtless dog walkers who keep leaving their animal’s poo on the pitch.
The odorous issue has been an ongoing one at the club’s Castle Playing Fields home for some time, but the latest incident that caused two stoppages during their match with Hadleigh last Saturday (October 11) has tipped head coach Martin Hughes to the point of exasperation.
He said: “It’s getting worse really .
“Even at training now we’ve got to have a little reccie before we train.
“On Saturday I actually set the pitch up with the flags and did a little reccie and moved about six pieces off the pitch.
“During the game the ref blew up in the first half and said there’s some here and the game was held up and in the second half it happened again. It’s frustrating.
“It’s not only horrible it’s dangerous if someone gets it in their eyes.
“When I was putting the flags up on Saturday I picked one up after putting it down and I realised I had some of the stuff on my fingers. That’s what really ****** me off.”
The problem is occurring not just on the club’s main pitch, which is used for senior rugby, but is also happening on the two other pitches, which are used by the children who play there on Sunday mornings.
Hughes added: “On the Sunday we have all the children. You could have ten to 12 teams on a Sunday, from under-7s to under-16s.
“We are using all the pitches. I know I’m not the only coach raising a concern about this.
“It is a losing battle really. All you can do is publicise it but it’s down to the dog owners to clean up after the dogs.
“It doesn’t take two minutes to pick it up.
“It’s going to take something nasty for people to think ‘this is serious’, rather than ‘don’t worry it’s only a field’.”
The club rents the pitches from St Edmundsbury Council and as the tenants it is up to them to prepare them ready for play.
However, council spokesman said: “We are disappointed that by failing to take responsibility for their dogs’ mess, some dog owners are giving the players a very unpleasant experience.
“We will contact the club to help them tackle this.
“We believe that prevention is better than cure, partly because of difficulty enforcing without evidence from a witness, but also because the more people who behave responsibly, the more likely irresponsible behaviour is to be challenged.’