Hats off to Woodhouse Grove School as Bradford City's training facilities start to take shape (From Bradford Telegraph and Argus)
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Hats off to Woodhouse Grove School as Bradford City's training facilities start to take shape
After a week in the plush surroundings on hand in Ireland, City return to the normality of Apperley Bridge this morning.
The ground where they train daily has been a bugbear for a long time now but the situation is finally improving.
The move into the indoor HQ at Woodhouse Grove School a year ago gave the squad the permanent base they needed during the week, minus the mud-spattered drives back to Valley Parade.
Now progress is being made on sorting out the quality – and amount – of pitches the players use every day.
Director of operations David Baldwin confirmed that work is progressing to build two pitches at Elm Tree Farm, the plot of land across the road from Rawdon Meadows.
And Woodhouse School’s new synthetic surface – which City will be able to use – should be ready by the end of October.
Baldwin said: “The issue for us has been the number of available pitches and the amount of shared usage they have.
“We recognise we’re a tenant and have to share but the demand on it from a training perspective is that we need more grass space.
“You start these projects like Elm Tree Farm and don’t see the benefits for 12 months.
“It’s quite involved work in relation to the flood plains that are there. You’re also dealing with the Environment Agency regarding the drainage.
“We’re only draining rainwater back into the river and doing nothing adverse but you have to ensure you’re not increasing the levels so it affects somewhere else.
“It’s not a quick fix but if all goes to plan, that should be operational before the end of the season.
“There’s also the new 3G pitch being developed with the latest technology and that’s going to be right outside the manager’s office.”
City also used Tong High School at times last season when the wet weather wiped out Apperley Bridge and that arrangement is set to continue.
Baldwin added: “We still have access to pitches there on an ad hoc basis, which we really appreciate. You’ve got to be able to deliver good quality training sessions whenever you turn up for work.”
City’s lack of suitable indoor facilities dated back to the Premier League days. Securing a proper training base has also spared a few red faces when it comes to giving players a tour round the club.
Baldwin admitted: “You’re not embarrassed now to show people the training ground. You used to take prospective signings to the stadium and gloss over the rest.
“Now we’ve got everything there under one roof, with the added bonus of the indoor sports hall where we’ve done all the bleep testing and a brand new swimming pool.
“To have that kind of resource at your beck and call is tremendous. I’ve got to take my hat off to Woodhouse Grove, who do go the extra mile to support us.”