YOUNG footballers on an Oxford estate desperately need more facilities, not pools and skate parks, according to coaches.

Blackbird Leys is set for a new £8.5m swimming pool and a £60,000 skate park.

But Ian Fieldwick, welfare officer and coach for Greater Leys FC, has said that the lack of football facilities at Blackbird Leys Park might be putting the children in danger.

He said: “I am getting fed up. There are no facilities here at all for little ones.

“If they want to go to the toilet they have to go all the way to the leisure centre. If it is raining you cannot go and get changed.

“I don’t think it is safe down here. We have had drunks walking across the pitch.”

This comes as the city council plans to build a £60,000 skate park in Blackbird Leys Park, which covers 90,000 square metres, and an £8.5m swimming pool next to the leisure centre on Pegasus Road, which runs alongside the park.

Mr Fieldwick said: “I have no problem with the swimming pool or the skate park, but the children who play football are getting a raw deal.

“Football is our national sport and we are trying to get children to come and get healthy.

“If they build a swimming pool, why don’t they build some showers or changing rooms?”

There were changing rooms on the pitch, but they were condemned due to health and safety concerns. This means the nearest changing facilities are in the Blackbird Leys Leisure Centre.

Greater Leys FC was formed three years ago after splitting from Littlemore Youth and they run nine different teams for age groups ranging from under sevens to under 16s. There are more than 100 children at the club in total.

A spokesman for Oxford City Council said: “We are currently undertaking a review of our playing pitches and sports pavilions within the city.

“A consultation exercise that involves the clubs, leagues and other relevant sporting bodies has taken place during this year and this will help inform the review, which is due to be completed in December.

“We have also carried out consultation recently regarding the skate park in Blackbird Leys and it is a facility local residents would like.”