Pompey pitch green light for training return

Paul Cook. Picture: Sarah Standing
Paul Cook. Picture: Sarah Standing
  • Training pitches dogged by drainage problems last season
  • Work started at season’s end to be ready for pre-season

Pompey’s relaid training pitches are ready to host a return on Wednesday.

Although, Paul Cook will decide the extent the new playing surfaces will be used as they continue to bed in.

Those early weeks are quite important. Regardless, it is ready and able to be played on

Mark Catlin

Both the Blues’ Copnor Road venue and Fratton Park have undergone crucial secondary drainage work over the summer.

The process has also involved reseeding in a bid to resolve last season’s much-publicised problems.

Work on the training ground began a month earlier, while Fratton was preparing for Madness’ visit, ensuring it is well ahead at present.

According to Mark Catlin, the Roko venue is now ready to be used by Cook and his new-look squad for their training return on Wednesday.

However, Pompey’s boss will have the decisive say on using it.

Catlin said: ‘The training ground will be ready for pre-season, although we want to give the pitches as long as possible to take root.

‘We can play on it now if we wanted but you always want to give it longer to bed in.

‘Those early weeks are quite important. Regardless, it is ready and able to be played on.

‘Paul Cook is still looking at his pre-season and might not want to train on it.

‘He will listen to the groundsman before deciding what to do.

‘The need to let new pitches bed in is the same at any football club.’

Pompey’s desire to head abroad as part of pre-season training could also provide the training pitches with more breathing space.

The Blues are set to book a stay in Portugal before their first pre-season fixture at the Hawks on Saturday, July 11.

Cook believes that time will allow his much-changed side to bond in the sunshine.