A MULTI-million pound development intended to give Huddersfield Town its own top-notch training facilities is progressing fast.
Canalside Sports Complex was formed in January 2011 after Town took over the running of the Leeds Road facility formerly known as Syngenta Sports.
It’s the first time the club has owned its own state-of-the-art complex – and they also hope it will become a hub for community events.
Previously, for training purposes, players used facilities at Storthes Hall and elsewhere.
The idea ultimately is for chairman Dean Hoyle to leave a legacy which will create long-term foundations for the club.
The five-hectare site is a veritable hubbub of activity with work underway on the new full-sized 3G pitch, being built behind the classroom building. It will be comparable to the facility at England’s new National Football Centre at St George’s Park, Burton.
Click below to see our pictures from the development.Related content
Town’s chief executive Nigel Clibbens and head of football operations Ross Wilson, visited Burton last week to view their pitch.
Due to be completed in late April to early May, the new pitch will be floodlit and used by Academy age groups, but also available for hire by the public.
In addition, three full-size pitches on the complex are growing, having have had new drainage installed, been levelled and will hopefully be ready for next pre-season.
A club spokesman said: “In terms of the improvements we’ve made, with help from our partners, One 17 Design and Radcliffe Construction, we have refurbished the two main function rooms.
“The furniture in the new rooms was provided by another club partner, Andy Thornton of Elland.
The on-site Stripes Gym has also been refurbished, with new machines installed by our club partner Life Fitness.
“We’ve also installed two classroom and football analysis buildings.
“On top of being used by our Under-18 scholars to complete their vocational education programme, we also bring our under-13 to under-16 players in on day-release to complete their schoolwork and be taught additional key skills.
“Once again we’ve invested in this area, bringing in 40 new laptops from club partner CBC Computers.
“We’ve improved the facilities for our members too. As part of a re-design of the layout of the facility, the bowling club will have a new bowling green to play on soon to accompany the existing one at the front of Canalside.
“This is on top of the new cabins next to our players’ changing facilities for the sections such as our bowling and croquet clubs, and the five existing snooker tables.
“In a time of economic belt-tightening, the facility – combined with the incoming Elite Player Performance Plan relating to professional youth football in England – has seen us increase our full-time staff at our Academy from four to 17, all of whom are based at Canalside.
“We’ve also created three further jobs including our recently appointed chef Ray Sherlock.
The kitchen team, led by Ray, cater for 700 people per week.
“This includes members of the public on top of our First Team, Development Squad and Academy players.
“In summary, the club has made a significant investment in the facility since we took over the running two years ago – but all the improvements that have been made have been part-funded by the 2,000-plus paying members of Canalside.
“We’ve also worked closely with a variety of local businesses to make this happen.”
Anyone interested can visit the website: www.canalsidesports.com