AN AMATEUR football team say they face moving their fixtures to Edinburgh after their home pitch was not made fit for play ahead of the start of the season.

Cockenzie Star are due to host a pre-season friendly this weekend but say their home pitch at King George V Park in their community is not playable.

The club say despite repeated requests East Lothian Council has not lined the pitch, which is overgrown.

And they say the only local alternative, Meadowmill, is in such a poor state two players injured themselves on it.

The local authority has insisted that the King George V Park pitch will be ready for kick-off this weekend; however, Cockenzie Star manager Kevin McLeod said he was told it would be the middle of August before it was done.

Mr McLeod told the Courier: “We were told the pitch would be lined last month but nothing happened. Now we are being told it will be mid-August but our season starts this weekend.

“The only pitch available locally is Meadowmill, which is riddled with rabbit warrens.

“Two players injured themselves there and are now out with Achilles injuries.

“We will have to move our fixtures to Edinburgh unless the situation is sorted.

“It is just unacceptable that the playing field has been left in this state. We are not the only amateur team who plays there.”

Mr McLeod said the club, a member of the Scottish Amateur Football Association, relied on local sponsorship to help it take part in the season.

He said: “We rely on sponsorship and like to get our local sponsors along to meet the players but we haven’t been able to do that either. It is not good enough.”

A council spokesperson said: “Our plan has always been to add the line markings before the first fixture of the new season. This remains the plan. Based on information we were given about league fixtures, the 11-a-side pitches are open for business from this weekend. We also have our usual number of summer pitches available for pre-season games, in addition to the synthetic pitches we have invested heavily in over the years.

“We wish Cockenzie Star well for the fixtures ahead.”