THE return of junior football in Montgomeryshire could be undermined by an ongoing lack of facilities.

The warning was issued by Berriew Football Club junior coach Paul Inns who feared the shortage of training facilities in the Welshpool area was a particular area of concern.

Junior football is being phased back into a full return as part of the Football Association of Wales (FAW) Safe Return to Play protocols after more than six months of inactivity brought about by ongoing lockdown restrictions.

However Inns, one of the leading junior coaches in the region and head of the junior section at Berriew Football Club, feared clubs still faced major problems in acquiring suitable training facilities in Welshpool.

In particular with repair works still ongoing at Welshpool’s Flash Leisure Centre after more than six months.

Inns said: “I remain particularly concerned as regards the lack of facilities in Welshpool and the impact of that on our neighbouring junior clubs.

“My understanding is that work has still not been commenced on the astro turf pitch at the Flash Leisure Centre.

“That is an intolerable situation and I genuinely fear for junior football and indeed some other sports, in that area.

“We have already organised our winter schedule without reference to the flash astroturf but having four pitches available to do so, we are in a fortunate position. I fear other clubs are not so lucky.”

Mr Inns added: “The return of junior football has proved challenging.

“Undoubtedly, as we enter into autumn and winter, the challenges will become greater as hours of daylight reduce and weather impacts upon the pitches.”

Powys County Council has been approached by the County Times for comment.