Young footballers who were banned by club bosses after an impromptu lockdown kickabout have now joined the team’s main rivals.

In March, The Gazette told how players from Renfrew FC 2013 and their three coaches were suspended by academy chairman Michael Shearer following a 45-minute training session at the town’s King George V playing fields.

The coaches were told the session was unauthorised and should not have taken place.

Parents lodged an appeal in a bid to have the suspension overturned but were unsuccessful.

Now the boys who were banned have joined the club’s rivals Renfrew Victoria and played their first game on Sunday against St Mirren in the Paisley and Johnstone District League.

Matt Sommerville, who was a Renfrew FC coach, has slammed the club over its decision to ban the young players, including his seven-year-old son Kai.

“The treatment of the boys has been appalling and we are all scunnered by what has happened,” he told The Gazette.

“The club have now disbanded the whole age group, so the team no longer exists. All references to Renfrew FC 2013 have been removed from the club’s website.

“Parents are up in arms over the conduct of the club’s officials, which left ten boys without a football team.

“We’ve now moved to Renfrew Victoria, which means some very talented youngsters have not been lost to football.”

Matt, a 46-year-old production planner, said he was first told of the suspension by two club officials in front of Kai in the Renfrew FC club car park in Argyll Avenue.

He added: “They said I had put on an unauthorised training session.

“I explained it was just a kickabout to get the boys out of the house and back playing football.

“We feel that this is a personal thing because we have been quite vocal about the way the club is run.

“However, we are delighted that the boys have been accepted by Renfrew Victoria and they will be able to continue playing football.”

At least one parent has also complained to governing body the Scottish Youth Football Association (SYFA).

Mr Shearer is chairman of the Renfrew FC youth section and has responsibility for all players aged six to 16.

The club’s senior team play in the West of Scotland Football League.

Stuart Wild, chairperson of Renfrew Victoria, said he is more than happy to welcome the former Renfrew FC players and their parents into the club.

He added: “The boys and their parents have integrated very well into our 2013 team.

“They have all followed the guidelines and I would not have a bad word to say about them.

“Our club is a charity and our stated aim is to give local children an opportunity to get out in the fresh air and develop their football skills.”

Both Renfrew FC and the SYFA declined to comment on the matter when contacted by The Gazette.