Andy Hunter on 20 November 2019
Liverpool are on course for next summer’s move to a new £50m training facility in Kirkby that manager Jürgen Klopp believes will inspire the club’s academy prospects in their pursuit of a first team place.
The Anfield club on Wednesday unveiled images of the on-going development that will replace their historic Melwood training ground next pre-season and bring together senior and youth team players in the same facility for the first time. The state-of-the-art construction, currently on schedule and on budget, includes two gyms, a sports hall, pool, hydrotherapy complex and specialist sports rehabilitation suites in a 9,200sqm centre.
Liverpool’s first team and under-23s players will share the sports hall and hydrotherapy complex while retaining their own distinct areas of the building. Klopp was consulted on the design by architects KSS and wanted the separate first team area – which also includes three full-size training pitches and a goalkeepers’ training space – to motivate the under-23s as they strive for the next, and hardest, step in their development.
The reception areas of the new training complex will feature a mosaic of the Kop and panels of Liverpool legends. A sports psychologist will be based in the centre of the facility to encourage players to use them regularly.
Andy Hughes, Liverpool’s chief operating officer, said: “We are really pleased with the progress that has been made and once the new training ground and its associated buildings are complete, the project will provide first class amenities for our players and staff. It has always been our aspiration to provide a clear pathway for progression for our youngsters from the club’s academy to the first team, and the two facilities are now intrinsically linked.”
Liverpool’s work on their current academy site has also involved redeveloping community pitches. Five new pitches plus a pavilion at Eddie McArdle Community Pitches have been completed with ownership and maintenance handed over to Knowsley Borough Council.
“We are also extremely proud to be investing in the Knowsley area to provide improved sports facilities for the community of Kirkby with the redevelopment of the Eddie McArdle Community Pitches,” added Hughes.