Town now boast some of the finest training facilities in the UKFootball great Sir Alex Ferguson will officially open Fleetwood Town’s new £8m Poolfoot Farm training complex.
The Manchester United legend – the most decorated manager in British football history – will cut the ribbon at the Club’s stunning new state-of-the-art training facility in Thornton, Lancashire, on Wednesday April 20.
Poolfoot’s opening will see Fleetwood Town boast some of the finest training facilities in the UK with 12 grass pitches, two full size 4G FIFA 2 star standard artificial pitches, a fully fitted gym, fitness studio, physiotherapy suite, dedicated classrooms, meetings rooms, a top quality bar and restaurant, seven changing rooms and offices.
Not only will the facilities – which are fully open to the public – benefit Town’s first team, but the development of young players with the club now in talks to develop their youth academy to match those operated in the Premier League.
Fleetwood Town chairman Andy Pilley said: “We are delighted Sir Alex will officially open Poolfoot Farm on April 20.
“Not only is Sir Alex a legendary manager but someone whose track record in discovering, honing and developing young home-grown talent is second to none.
“That makes him the perfect choice to open our stunning new training complex where we hope over the next few years we can discover, nurture and develop the next generation of talented young footballers.”
Andy says he hopes the new facilities, which are available for the local community to use, will help persuade talented young local players to develop their skills closer to home.
He added: “Too many good young players are tempted by the lure of the Premier League, but their development is stifled as they are often lost inside the massive academies of the big North West clubs.
“We really hope that now we have Premier League-standard training facilities and an academy to match we can find and develop that raw talent which will not only be good for the future of Fleetwood Town but the players and future players themselves.”
Under the governance of the professional game’s ‘Elite Player Performance Programme’ (EPPP), Town presently operate a Category 4 academy, providing elite development for age groups U17 through to U21.
The club is in talks with the Football League to move to a Category 3 status as early as next season which would see elite level coaching operations at Poolfoot Farm from age eight upwards.
The facilities at Poolfoot Farm, which are built on the site of a former farm, were constructed to the highest specification after the club’s management toured a number of top training complexes across England and on the continent.
Fleetwood Town Chief Executive Steve Curwood said: “We’ve taken the best ideas from those complexes we visited, but the greatest challenge was trying to make it work as both a professional training facility and a community sports complex.
“Almost no clubs open their training facility doors to the public in the UK, however overseas there are some great examples of this and how this engages local communities and fans.
“This facility will transform the club in so many ways both for the professional players and the community.
“Hundreds of local children have already enjoyed the use of our 4G pitch, be that local junior clubs, schools, and other organisations. It’s a real hive of activity and it’s brilliant to see so many families enjoying the facilities which just a couple of years ago was wasteland and an eyesore.
"There is also another 4G pitch being constructed as we speak and this will be ready within the next couple of months, further adding to the facilities on site.”
One of the key community hubs at Poolfoot will be the Crossbar and Grill – a sumptuous sports bar and restaurant which has created a number of full and part time jobs and can cater for over 100 diners.
Steve added: “It’s a stunning restaurant and bar which has a great relaxed feel, where families, friends and supporters should feel at home.
“It has a great menu of American Sports Bar inspired food which will suit all tastes. We are feeding our players and staff here almost every day so it made perfect sense to extend the communal area in to restaurant that would also welcome the public.
“Come down, have a meal, a drink or simply a coffee and relax and watch either the first team train or your own children play an under 11’s match.
“We want Poolfoot to be a real community hub both on the field and off it. There really is nothing else like this in the North West and we are very proud to be opening such a wonderful facility for everyone to enjoy.”