FOR the first time in more than 40 years, junior football teams will not be playing their end-of-season cup finals at the Racecourse Ground.

Organisers of the Macron Wrexham and District Youth League are searching for a new venue to host their annual cup finals, as the Reds’ involvement in the National League play-offs means the Racecourse Ground stadium is unavailable.

It is understood the club needs the facilities to be available for the first team to train on up until May 11, should they make it to the Wembley final on that date.

An alternative date has yet to be set for the youth cup finals with officials in discussion with Cefn Druids about the availability of The Rock, for the event which which involves around 300 junior players.

A letter sent out to the secretaries of the cup finalists states: “It is with much sadness that Wrexham Football Club have advised our Youth League that the Racecourse Ground for the first time in over four decades will not be available to host our annual League Cup Finals and the U7-U11 mini football exhibition matches.

“We are left to have to respect their decision which is based around the complexity of competing in the play-offs of the Vanarama National League and having to have in place the use of the ground for training and participating in the extra fixture.

“Once games are concluded the ground will be totally closed to enable staff to prepare the pitch for next season.

“The league’s priority at present therefore is to enter discussions with Cefn Druids in the hope they can come to our rescue and offer the hiring of their facilities.”

Volunteers involved with some of the junior clubs who have reached the final have expressed their disappointment at the decision.

Leigh Edwards, whose son plays for Chirk AAA Under-14s, said he could miss out on a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity.

“My team Chirk has reached the finals of Wrexham and District Youth Final,” he said. “This is normally played at the Racecourse but Wrexham after 40 years of doing this have pulled the plug.

“There is no reason that we can’t play there as this will not clash with the play-offs. This could be a once-in-a-lifetime event for our kids, our supporters and me.

“My father has dementia and this could be the last time he sees his son and grandson at the Racecourse. This is supposedly a family club and one which many of the kids watch week to week.”

Another parent, Dave Rowlandson added: “It’s a great shame Wrexham AFC have chose not to stage the Macron youth league cup finals this year after a 40-year tradition. All the boys have worked hard to reach the finals, many being lifelong Wrexham supporters and the thought of running out at the Racecourse is a great incentive.

“Grassroots football is struggling and players, coaches and parents all work very hard to achieve things like this.”

Wrexham AFC club secretary Geraint Parry explained that due to the Reds’ involvement in the play-offs, and a tight timescale for repair work to be carried out on the pitch this summer, the club could not guarantee the availability of the stadium.

He said: “There is uncertainty with the play-offs and we don’t know whether we will need the ground or not, and what staff will be available.

“It’s the first time in a few years we haven’t had any concerts on during the summer so we have got pitch development work and renovation work starting soon after, and will be able to host pre-season friendlies this year.

“We always try our best to accommodate these games but unfortunately we can’t this year and it is a real shame but hopefully we will be able host them again in the future.”