Monday target for new Pompey training home

Mark Catlin, right, at the new training ground. Picture: Paul Jacobs (142967-8)
Mark Catlin, right, at the new training ground. Picture: Paul Jacobs (142967-8)
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The bags are being packed, the cardboard boxes crammed full and removal vans booked.

Pompey’s first team are set to finally move into their new training home on Monday.

Only the volatile weather can hamper their march towards Roko as the last-gasp finishing touches are applied.

Nonetheless, Mark Catlin remains confident Monday will be the grand unveiling of the venue whose creation has been funded by supporters.

The Academy’s under-18 side have been trialling facilities there since October 16, ahead of the anticipated arrival of the senior set-up.

That period has also seen the completion of two buildings, which have now been coupled together to provide office space, a gym and physio rooms.

Andy Awford has been strict in his preference for the players to transfer to their £1.1.m training home only upon its completion.

That moment is pencilled in to arrive on Monday.

Pompey’s chief executive Catlin said: ‘We are due to move in Monday, which would be fantastic.

‘A lot will depend on the weather – there is still a lot of finishing off to be done and, as ever, we are at the mercy of the conditions.

‘But everything we are doing is aimed at getting everyone in there for this coming Monday.

‘Andy has been clear from the start he didn’t want to go in there when it was 50, 60 or 70-per-cent completed.

‘He wants to go in when it is 95 or 100 per cent ready. We can obviously allow for a few bits here and there that need doing.

‘Most of the players haven’t seen the training ground at all, so the idea is they enter it and go “Wow” from day one.

‘Everything is now in situ and linked up with the main building, so we will have to make a decision at some point this week whether we move everything over or not because there is a lot of stuff that has to be put in the new offices.

‘There are desks, computer equipment, IT issues – everything has got to be moved over so it is just when we make that decision.

‘The youth team have been in there for almost a month now and are over the moon with it, reporting no big issues. It’s just about some bits being finished off, some painting and cosmetic bits, but we are at the mercy of the weather for that.

‘We want it looking nice and, for the sake of potentially another week, it is not really worth rushing it.

‘We have waited six months since it started and to get to this point is incredible. Monday is the day we are hoping for, though.’

Pompey left their former Eastleigh training base in January 2013, prompting them to use several venues since.

In the meantime, much equipment has been kept in storage – but now is the time to dust off the cobwebs.

Catlin added: ‘Hampshire Cricket Club have been storing equipment, while it has also been kept at the businesses of certain directors, so I’m sure they will be glad to see the back of that!

‘There are other items at Fratton Park in different lock-ups, it would be good to get it all back to our own home.’