Blues set for Roko

Pompey chief executive Mark Catlin
Pompey chief executive Mark Catlin

Pompey are closing-in on securing Roko as their new training home.

Solicitors are currently finalising a long-term lease to enable the Blues to relocate from their current University of Portsmouth base to the Copnor Road facility in Hilsea.

With new pitches to be laid, Pompey chief executive Mark Catlin has admitted the training surfaces may not be ready in time for the start of pre-season in early July.

However, he insists there is an alternative to serve as a contingency plan.

In the meantime, the Blues are awaiting the go-ahead for an agreement to be completed and the nod to start preparation work at the new training venue.

‘I am not at liberty to say where it will be yet, hopefully there will be an announcement soon,’ said Catlin.

‘From the point it is announced, there will be a three-to-four-month period from when the work starts on new pitches to completion.

‘They will require drainage, irrigation, laid, growing, germinating – you name it.

‘This is not like preparing a park’s pitch, this needs to be done properly.

‘And if we do it right then, in the future, there will be less work needed to be done on it.

‘At the moment we have got to let the solicitors do their job. We can’t move into their territory – we don’t want to impinge on that but we are pushing as hard as we can to get it done for pre-season.

‘That is looking tight, but we have a Plan B in place which is perfectly viable and there is a pitch elsewhere being worked on.

‘Even if the pitches are not completed, we could base ourselves from the training ground for pre-season.’