A COUNCILLOR has likened Wellington Football Club to having the same “mindset” as that of Premier League giants Arsenal and Chelsea.

There was a disagreement among councillors at Wellington Town Council’s policy and finance committee on Monday (July 8) as to whether the club could nurture young football talent.

The Mayor, Cllr Janet Lloyd, said the football club was an important organisation in the town and helped to develop young footballers.

But Cllr John Thorne hit back at the Mayor’s comments about the club discovering good local footballers.

“Wellington can’t produce enough players of the right quality to play at Western League level – hence why the first-team is made up of players from other places,” he said.

Cllr Sean Pringle-Kosikowsky disagreed with Cllr Thorne’s point that just because most of the first-team players were not from Wellington that it failed to have a positive impact on local interest among young footballers.

“I disagree that players coming from outside of Wellington does not encourage young footballers,” he said. “The power of the club badge is incredible.”

And Cllr Mark Lithgow questioned what was wrong with Wellington attracting players from places such as Exeter and Torquay as it was in the “same mindset” as the likes of giant London clubs Arsenal and Chelsea going further afield than the capital for their stars.

The discussion came during a debate on whether the council could support plans by Wellington Football Club to restrict public access to Wellington Playing Field while matches were being played.