On Friday Dwane Sports Group, owners of Bristol Rovers FC, announced that they had completed their acquisition of a 28 acre training ground site in Almondsbury.
Today was the first opportunity that manager Darrell Clarke and his staff had to view the site and the Manager explained how important it was for the club to own its own training ground. The Manager said; “It’s vital for the infrastructure of the organisation, something I’ve spoken about on many occasions and now we have acquired the site we can begin looking to build the club for the future.
“It’s a large site and in a good area but it’s important that we get some decent pitches prepared and that we ensure that all of the facilities are spot on.
“We will be moving into a very large site and we will take our time to make sure everything is done in the correct way as we develop the site.
“I have visited a number of training grounds and I am of the opinion that we make sure that, when completed, it not only benefits the first team, but our Academy and all other teams connected with Bristol Rovers.
“It’s all about bringing all aspects of the club together. If I’m honest, we are probably well behind many clubs in acquiring a facility such as this but this is, nevertheless, a fantastic start for us.
“Further down the line it will undoubtedly help the club attract new players because the better your facilities the more impressive it is to potential signings.
“This, of course, is the first step in the right direction for the club for me our owners, who have been here almost a year, are working tremendously hard behind the scenes to deliver a new stadium for the club.
“Patience will be needed and I know that will disappoint our supporters, as they have been waiting many years for their club to move into a new stadium, but I’m pretty confident that we will be putting the proper infrastructure in place to move this club forwards.”
Chairman Steve Hamer, meanwhile, said; “It’s our intention to develop a training ground to the specifications that the manager and his staff would like to enable us to be successful.
“We do intend to visit Fleetwood’s training ground to see how they have developed their training ground. We know that they have spent £8m on their complex, so it will be interesting to see what that amount of money buys you.
“If we can replicate something similar to theirs, then I suspect we will be very, very, happy.
“There weren’t too many options for us to consider when considering purchasing land for a training ground and it’s taken us nine months to complete. Our lease on Golden Hill, where our Academy sides play, expires at the end of March so it was a necessity for us to acquire our own venue.
“It’s difficult to put a timescale on when it will be available for the whole club to use, but we will see how quickly we can develop it to the standard we require.
“In time, we hope to have a ladies side attached to the club and, once established then it is our intention that they also use this site for games and for training.”
As far as an announcement on a new ground, he said; “We are in constant dialogue with UWE and hope that progresses and that we can get underway.”