Portsmouth unveil new training base

Portsmouth

Portsmouth have unveiled plans for a new training ground in the city.

Pompey have announced a partnership with Roko Health Club on Copnor Road in the city, having used a number of temporary venues in recent years.

Manager Andy Awford says it will make a huge difference to the League Two club.

"The psychology of the players turning up here every day and then going to Fratton Park for a matchday experience will be a massive incentive," Awford told BBC Radio Solent.

"If we want to train twice a day on Christmas Day we can, because it is ours."

The facility will cost the club close to £1m and Pompey will have a 30-year lease with Roko.

And chief executive Mark Catlin says the club will incur no extra debt to pay for the facility.

"When I first arrived, the biggest gripe people had was that they didn't have their own training facility," said Catlin.

"The presidents have been involved, our existing board members have been involved and the PST (Pompey Supporters' Trust) have been involved.

"Thankfully it has been done in such a way where no money comes out of the club. It's all been external funding. There is no interest repayments. This is capital that has been put into the club to fund this project. This does not add any additional debt to the club."

Contractors have been working on the site since April and the club hopes to be using the facility by the end of the summer.

In the meantime the club will continue to use its training base at the University of Portsmouth.

The agreement will see Pompey invest significant funds to initially create two state-of-the-art training pitches, as well as integrate and refurbish the existing football changing rooms and player lounge facilities.

The club will also install offices for football department staff and create a purpose-designed fitness suite for the players as well as injecting cash into the existing health club, whose facilities will remain unaffected,

And Awford says the facility is long overdue.

"If there is one gripe I've got with this past is that we didn't invest in that facility," he said.

"We won the FA Cup, I saw AC Milan play at Fratton Park, I never thought I would but it came at a cost and I would have like to have seen a little bit of that income but into the infrastructure of the club."