Fleetwood Town’s players made an historic step on their journey home as they trained for the first time at the club’s new multi-million pound base.
Graham Alexander led his players onto the Poolfoot Farm site in Thornton to put the first of the facilities on the site – a brand new 4G artificial playing surface – through its paces.
The pitch will be open for the general public to use by the end of February while Fleetwood are hoping to move their first team training activities to Wyre on a full time basis by the start of next season.
There’s still a lot of work to do on the site but Alexander was impressed with what he saw, having struggled this week with the club’s regular pitches at Fylde Rugby Club in Andsell.
He said: “It was great, with the weather the pitches have been frozen solid and it was touch and go whether we’d have got on yesterday.
“We decided to go up to Thornton and try out the 4G and it was fantastic.
“It gives us a great alternative to what we’ve got in Lytham, allows us to get some decent work done.
“It’s a little step forward and gives the lads a taste of what’s to come next season.
“People can now get an idea, a picture of what it’s going to be and we can’t wait for it.”
Some £6m is being pumped into the site which could eventually boast 17 pitches including facilities for Fleetwood Town, Thornton Cleveleys FC and the general public - with a company Fuse Football set up to manage and market the complex.
Alexander (pictured above) is delighted amateur footballers will have access to the same facilities as his League One stars.
“It’s a brilliant link between the football club and the community and that’s the way it should be,” he told The Gazette.
“It’s the biggest thing for the chairman, he wants it to be inclusive, to bring together the team and the supporters.
“It will get us closer to the public, closer to Fleetwood, this is the first step forward.”
Mick Horsfall will be the man charged with the day to day running of the centre and he can’t wait to get players, no matter what their background, involved.
“It’s fantastic, it’s been designed with the first team in mind but we’re geared towards the grass roots and the whole community.
“There’s nothing like this.
“Clubs at grass roots level are fighting for the same pitches, bad pitches.
“This will give them fantastic facilities, it will be an asset to everybody, it’ll hit all ages
“Not only that but they’ll have the chance to play football on the same facilities as the professionals, they are side by side. Professional football can seem so untouchable,
“This is a great opportunity for people to be part of a professional club with professional facilities. That’s something that’s unique.”
For more information visit the website www.fusefootball.co.uk