Celtic training ground

Lennoxtown training ground

Lennoxtown is the name of Celtic F.C.'s training and educational facilities at Lennoxtown, East Dunbartonshire, on the outskirts of the northeast Glasgow, Scotland.

Background

The complex is built on the site of the former NHS land adjacent to the vacated Lennox Castle Hospital and was designed to take over from Celtic's former training ground at Barrowfield. It is located on a 46 acre site near Campsie Fells, half of the site has been developed in Phase One of the project to provide the existing training facilities with the remaining land being left for development in Phase Two which will provide conference facilities and live-in dormitory areas for young players. The centre houses Celtic’s entire professional footballing and non matchday operation and will host the homes games for Celtic's ladies team.

For many years the training facilities which Celtic provided were seen as substandard and would be hidden from potential new signings. This fact was emphasised after their rivals Rangers opened their Murray Park complex at Milngavie in 2001 and also when Edinburgh rivals Hearts opened Riccarton academy along with Heriot-Watt University in 2004. A number of club officials and players expressed sadness at leaving Barrowfield but saw it as a necessity for the modern game and that it would aid in helping Celtic attract players to the club.

Prior to its opening Celtic youth team coach Willie McStay stated "after years of shuttling back and forth between Barrowfield, Celtic Park and several other temporary training venues, Lennoxtown will also allow the Youth Academy coaching staff to better utilise their time during the course of a season."

In 2005, Celtic launched a share issue which raised £15m, much of this money would be put towards providing new training facilities. Celtic coach Tommy Burns was tasked with undertaking a fact finding mission and travelled across Europe to visit other football clubs' training grounds. Celtic choose section from what was reported in Burns' report and this was added to by former Celtic boss Martin O'Neill and current boss Gordon Strachan.

In December 2005, East Dunbartonshire Council's Planning Board approved the outline planning application to develop the training facilities on the site. The following April, the council granted a detailed permission with the leader of East Dunbartonshire Council, John Morrison, stating "I'm sure that the residents of East Dunbartonshire are delighted at the prospect of this ambitious development in their area. The Celtic training facility will potentially contribute significantly to the development of Lennoxtown and will also bring wider employment and social benefits to the area.".

Official opening

The centre was officially opened on 9 October 2007 by Celtic chairman Brian Quinn at a ceremony where he was joined by Chief executive Peter Lawwell, Celtic manager Gordon Strachan and Celtic captain Stephen McManus.

Chairman Brian Quinn added "When people come and see the facilities they'll see what I think we are which is a major European club".

At the opening of the centre Peter Lawwell stated that Celtic "now have a foundation and infrastructure that should take us forward." and that Celtic can "now demonstrate a world-class training centre on top of a world-class stadium, for what I believe is a world-class club. It’s fitting for a club of this stature".

Facilities

£8 million pounds were spent on the construction of a number of first class facilities. Indoor facilities include an indoor training hall, a state-of-the-art fitness centre with gym and fitness suite, physio and medical facilities, sauna and steam room and hydrotherapy pool, Sports science/sports development facility, extensive changing facilities, classroom/education facilities, football administration offices, media facilities, kit room, laundry and Groundsman’s compound.

Outdoor facilities include three full-sized UEFA standard natural grass training and match pitches with undersoil heating to the main pitch, an artificial grass pitch and an additional goalkeeping training area.

Gallery

References

External links

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