Andy Pilley says plans for Fleetwood Town’s Academy and training complex will take the club to an exciting new level.
The Cod Army chairman has revealed a seven-figure investment in a full-sized indoor pitch at the club’s Poolfoot Farm training venue, with planning due into the Council imminently. This will assist the club’s youth Academy to change status after a formal application was lodged by the club to the EFL to see it change from Category 3 to Category 2 from the start of the 2021/22 season.
The ranking system is part of the Elite Player Performance Plan and is a Premier League led strategy to improve the quality and quantity of home-grown players. And Pilley believes the plans signal a hugely exciting time for the club:
“Our Academy is something we are incredibly proud of at Fleetwood Town and something we intend to continue to grow. The steps we’ve made in recent years has been a credit to everyone involved and we now feel it’s time to take it to the next level.
“The investment we are making at Poolfoot Farm is a real signal of intent, we want to continue to grow and continuously improve both the training ground and our Academy.
“There’s nothing better for a club than to see a young player break through into the first team - particularly a local lad. Hopefully this development will see the stars of the future developed here on the Fylde coast.”
Poolfoot Farm is the club’s state-of-art £10m training complex including world class sporting facilities, classrooms, and family dining at the Pizza Calcio restaurant. The site has become a hub of the local community with more than 300,000 users a year, and Pilley has revealed plans for it to grow further.
“The site is constantly being improved,” explained the Chairman. “The dome will see us match the best publicly available training facilities in the country, and we are proud this will be available for community as well as professional use.
“The huge impact the site has on the community as a whole is something which means a lot to myself and the football club. It also allows us to give our professional footballers the best possible chance of success on the pitch.”
At present Fleetwood Town are recruiting for an Academy manager, and Pilley says so far the response has been fantastic.
“To be honest we’ve been blown away by the quality of applicants which have come in so far, it shows how highly regarding the club now is in the footballing world,” he said.
“We are looking for someone to take us to the next level, so it’s a big appointment for us at a crucial time.”