New Blackpool training ground ‘massive’ for McDonald

Neil McDonald
Neil McDonald
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Neil McDonald has hailed news that Blackpool intend to build a new training base as “massive”.

The Seasiders submitted plans to Fylde Council last week which would see their current training complex at Squires Gate demolished and replaced with a purpose-built structure.

Pool’s training ground has long been a subject of ridicule, with the Martin Drive site in desperate need of upgrade.

“It’s brilliant news,” said manager McDonald.

“The building itself has been there for a long time and we’ll now be having new facilities, which are much-needed.

“It will be a fantastic facility, not just for the first team but for the youth team too.”

At present the players have to use the changing facilities at the club’s Bloomfield Road stadium before travelling to Squires Gate to for training sessions.

The facilities there were described by Ian Holloway as a “hellhole” in 2011 and are constantly used as a stick to beat the owners with by those wishing to highlight the lack of investment since promotion to the Premier League.

McDonald added: “The pitches are good up there at the moment but we get changed at the stadium and travel down there. As long as the pitches are OK we can cope in the short term.

“But it’s important to have facilities where we can change and base ourselves. We won’t have to keep coming down to the stadium all the time, which will be great.”

McDonald revealed the training ground was one of his two key issues when he first arrived. The other will cost the Oystons much less...

“I said to the chairman I wanted two main things changing,” McDonald explained.

“One is that the players don’t wash their kits, which they don’t now, and two is that I wanted a new training ground. Hopefully the chairman is being true to his word and delivering that now.”

The planning application is for a building which houses changing rooms, a classroom, offices, hospitality area/players’ canteen, rehabilitation gym, physiotherapists’ rooms and associated facilities. Fylde Council will decide on the application by November 19.

McDonald said: “Hopefully permission will be granted as soon as possible and work can start on the building work. It will make a big difference to us all.”