Football coaches stopped from showering with U-17s

Leith Athletic coaches have found themselves in hot water with parents. Picture: Toby Williams
Leith Athletic coaches have found themselves in hot water with parents. Picture: Toby Williams
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A CITY football club has banned coaching staff from showering while youth players are in the dressing rooms after complaints from 
parents.

Bosses of Leith Athletic FC were forced to take the decision after two naked coaches joined the under 17 squad in the dressing room area.

The incident occurred following a home pre-season friendly against Spartans at their Leith Links ground last month.

It is understood young members of the team – which includes several 16-year-old players – were using the showers when the coaches undressed and stepped into the shower room.

While there is no suggestion of impropriety on the part of the professional staff, parents have been quick to kick off over the incident.

A parent of one young player, who asked not to be named, said: “A lot of parents are angry about this and have complained to the club. But they are trying to brush the incident under the carpet. It isn’t appropriate behaviour.”

Club president Bert Bungay said the matter has been “blown out of proportion”. He said: “The coaches and the players were never in the showers at the same time. The u17s had finished showering and were heading back to the dressing room when they passed the two coaches in a small passageway. The boys were then changed by the time the coaches came out of the showers.”

He added: “Neither of the coaches have resigned over the matter. They are as stunned by this as anyone. Both have played football at a high level and didn’t think their behaviour was anything out of the ordinary.”

A committee meeting was held to discuss the matter on Thursday night at which a ruling was made that coaches were no longer to shower when youth players are within the building.

Mr Bungay added: “Most of these lads are 17-years-old and young adults but we understand that some parents felt that what happened was inappropriate so we have taken the decision that coaches must now ensure that youth players have left before showering.”

Their ruling is in line with SFA guidelines on the matter of players and coaching staff using changing rooms together.

They state: “When children and young people use changing rooms, they should be supervised by two members of staff. Adult staff should not change or shower at the same time using the same facilities.”

Leith Athletic Football Club, which was formed in 1887, closed in 1955 and was revived in 1996.

The club is now one of the largest juveniles clubs in Scotland, with players from five years old to 21 years old in the youth ranks and also boasts a successful East of Scotland team.

Over the years, the club has won 125 trophies and currently has approximately 100 qualified coaches.