The items were secured at Somerset Park in a locked container, which was lifted onto a lorry and driven off at some point between Saturday night and Monday morning.
The container held portable goals and equipment used in the Academy’s Community programmes and kit and equipment bought for the Academy’s College Course and by its young footballers. It is a huge blow to the Academy which is a charity formed to provide footballing activity in the local community.
Much of the kit and equipment is branded with Tesco Bank and McDonald’s corporate logos as these companies are major sponsors and provide balls and other items as part of their support for the programmes which the Academy manages in partnership with the Scottish FA.
Every attempt will be made by Academy staff to ensure that the services continue to be delivered but additional funding will be required if the equipment is not found or returned. And there will be many disappointed young people if we cannot replace it – the Academy recorded in excess of 200,000 children attendances last year.
We would ask that if any coach or club that is approached with the offer of what looks like this kit, new set of ball or new goalposts to please get in touch.
If anyone has information that might help the police please contact Alastair Mitchell at Ayr Police Station on 01292 664000 or Graham Steel, the Ayr United Security Manager, on 01292 263435 or you can contact me direct.
Marc Roseblade is a Contributor for Bleacher Report as well as Not Just Scottish Football and youth development reporter for Ayr United Football Academy. All quotes are obtained first-hand unless otherwise stated.