What's being done at Boots & Laces Training Ground?
We have had a number of supporters asking about the work being carried out at Boots & Laces Training Ground during the close season.
On the very first day Phil Brown attended at Roots Hall he immediately asked if we could invest a little money in improving the ‘place of work’ for him and the players.
Phil didn’t feel Boots & Laces was being utilised as best it could be. Speaking about the Training Ground and the improvements being made, he said: “The place, for me, wasn’t being as efficient as it should be, not being used as a proper Training Ground and it’s important that it is. It needs to be a place that players want to come in to, a place where they want to learn and better themselves and that’s what we’re striving for by making these improvements.
“My remit when I joined was to assess the situation of the Club and I feel that includes the environment. I walked into Boots & Laces and just felt it had to change.
“It needed to flow more in the sense that players would be treated upstairs and then come out to train, but I feel that should be the last thing they do before heading out so we’ve changed that.
“We also want the Training Ground to be a place where sponsors feel comfortable and enjoy speaking to the players and management when they come to visit, hopefully by moving the canteen upstairs it will do that.
“I am sure we will all see the benefits on the pitch next season and that’s the most important thing.”
While Steve Kavanagh, the Club’s CEO, recognised that the building will be pushed over in the foreseeable future to make way for a Retail Park, the works were sanctioned as they were considered fundamental to Phil and the team.
Since the season finished the contractors have literally turned the building upside down. The canteen has moved from the ground floor to the first floor, making way for a medical room and sports science facility downstairs. There is also a new video analysis facility up on the first floor.
More office space has been created for the management staff and a comprehensive clean and refurbishment of all the kitchen and changing room facilities is being carried out.
Additionally, security will be improved at the Training Ground and no persons will be allowed to drift in and out as was the case before Phil’s arrival.
All in all, Phil has stamped his professionalism across the Training Ground and no doubt that will also be the case in other areas of the Club during the coming months as we build towards the start of a new season.
Although Boots & Laces is due to be demolished to make way for a Retail Park in the future, the Club will be able to maintain use of the existing Training Ground throughout construction of the first phase of the new Stadium pending the establishment of the new Training Ground facilities (20 acres north of the stadium) just over the border in Rochford.
Supporters will be able to visit the new facilities when they are completed, which is before the players return on June 24th.