The Football Association of Wales were joined by principal project partners and supporters at the Colliers Park site yesterday to mark the start of construction for the new National Football Development Centre in Wrexham.
The new National Football Development Centre at Colliers Park, opening in May 2019, will complement the FAW’s existing facility at Dragon Park, Newport.
The FAW say the centre will further benefit Welsh football nationally and locally by delivering accessible and high-class training facilities for talented young players and the wider football workforce in North Wales.
The training facility developments will include:
• two top quality grass pitches;
• a FIFA quality 3G pitch;
• in addition to, off pitch support facilities including activation areas, learning suites and changing facilities.
Working in partnership with Wrexham Glyndŵr University, the FAW say they ‘will endeavour to improve recruitment, skills and learning in coaching, refereeing, sports performance and medicine’.
The £5m investment in North Wales is provided by financial sponsors FIFA and UEFA and includes £500k funding support from Welsh Government and Sport Wales.
The FAW say: “This investment will enhance the reputation of Wales as an excellent footballing nation by providing more players the opportunity to play for their country as well as providing the dynamic for a range of community benefits.
Football Association of Wales CEO, Jonathan Ford said: “Firstly I would like to thank our project partners; FIFA, UEFA, Wrexham Glyndŵr University, Sport Wales and the Welsh Government for their support and investment in the new National Football Development Centre at Colliers Park.
“We are excited for the Football Development Centre to open next year and for the many development opportunities there will be for men, women and grassroots football in North Wales”
Wrexham Glyndŵr University, Vice Chancellor Professor Maria Hinfelaar said: “We’re delighted to be partnering with the Football Association of Wales on the new National Football Development Centre at Colliers Park, which will incorporate an education facility for our students on Sports Science and Sports Coaching degree programmes, enabling them to utilise state-of-the-art facilities. This is part of our Campus 2025 strategy to significantly invest in all areas of our campuses and facilities, putting students at the heart of everything we do and contributing to our local community.”
Minister for Culture, Tourism and Sport, Lord Elis-Thomas said: “I’m delighted Welsh Government have been able to support and help fund this significant development at Colliers Park as we look to build on what is unquestionably a golden age for Welsh sport and football in particular. EURO 2016, Wales women’s World cup qualification campaign, Premier League club representation, individual brilliance and hosting the UEFA Champions League finals have all excited and inspired in equal measure and it’s a real boost to the region and Welsh football more broadly to see such high-class facilities come to Wrexham to help the next wave of Welsh talent flourish.”
“It’s also extremely pleasing to see the partnership between the FAW, Glyndwr University and others ensure there’s an equal focus on the complimentary aspects of elite sport, which of course will mean this project will benefit a wider range of people with a broad range of aspirations and ambitions.”
Sport Wales CEO, Sarah Powell; “Sport Wales is delighted to be supporting a facility that will enable talented boys and girls to enjoy training and playing football in a high-quality environment and support them as they strive to progress. This is an exciting development for North Wales and we hope that women and girls in particular will benefit from the Centre and that the region’s strong tradition of developing young footballers is enhanced further.”
Local Councillor Andrew Atkinson added: “As the local Councillor for Gresford I’m delighted that this project is progressing I think it’s extremely good news for football in Wrexham and this is a welcome development. I thank the FAW for their commitment to Wrexham and North Wales by developing this centre of excellence in our town.”
Colliers Park is the former Wrexham Football Club training ground, with Wrexham Football Club previously owning both the Racecourse Ground and Colliers Park. Colliers was built at a cost of £750,000 to the club back in 1997.
Barcelona famously used the site for training, which at one point was regarded as one of the best outside the Premier League however in recent years has lost its lustre, as well as moving from the football club’s ownership due to the actions of previous owners… more in a previous report here.