Stoke City Football Club, Clayton Wood Training Ground, Rosetree Avenue, Trent Vale, Stoke-on-Trent, ST4 6NL
STOKE CITY set out their intention to figure prominently in a world-class Academy system when they unveiled plans to develop additional facilities at their state-of-the-art Training Ground at Clayton Wood in 2012.
The Club’s prospects of nurturing home grown talent and attracting the best young players had been significantly enhanced by the creation of the impressive new Training Ground complex at an initial cost of £7 million.
Now, as part of the bid to achieve Category 1 status in the new Elite Player Performance Plan, a further £6 million is being invested in the expansion of the complex and the installation of a full-sized indoor pitch.
Youth development in English football is undergoing a radical overhaul and City want to be at the forefront of those changes.
Richard Smith, Managing Director of Stoke City Property Ltd, commented: "The Club and its owners are firmly committed to giving our Academy the best possible chance of developing our own players for the first team.
"EPPP is designed to create a structure and facilities which will give English football a world-class Academy system and we want to ensure that we are right up there with the top clubs so we can nurture the best young talent in Stoke-on-Trent and the surrounding areas, while also attracting the best young players.”
He added: “We wanted to create a training centre that takes us to the next level in terms of facilities and best represents the standards we are trying to achieve throughout the Club. The challenge was to develop a centre that looks impressive, but serves its purpose as a working environment seven days a week.”
As well as providing the First Team squad with the very best facilities, the Club's Academy is based at Clayton Wood and is also benefiting from a significant amount of other work undertaken to maximise use of the site.
The first phase was completed for the start of the 2010/11 season with the two-storey, 1,800 sq metre building featuring nine changing rooms, a gymnasium, hydrotherapy suite, medical facilities, dining area and administrative offices.
Therefore, it provides the Academy scholars with the very best environment in which they can develop their football talents.
A considerable amount of work has also gone into the development of the Academy pitches at Clayton Wood, while Phase Two of the development has involved the installation of floodlights on two pitches and a synthetic pitch.
The additional facilities will be created over a phased development programme which is likely to run for three years until completion.
The first phase of the work will be the expansion of the existing building to create changing rooms, offices for coaches, medical, education and sports science staff, a treatment room, classrooms and facilities for parents as well.
As well as installing an indoor pitch, there will also be synthetic small-sided pitches and additional floodlit training areas.
North/South/West: Exit the M6 at Junction 15 and take the second exit (straight on) at the roundabout onto the A500. Exit the A500 at the first slip road and take the first exit (left) at the roundabout onto the A34. Take the first left onto Riverside Road and then the first left into Rosetree Avenue.
East: Travel past the Britannia Stadium on the A50 until the final roundabout. Take the first exit (left) and then keep in the right lane, moving onto the A500. Exit the A500 at the first slip road and take the third exit (right) at the roundabout onto the A34. Take the first left onto Riverside Road and then the first left into Rosetree Avenue.
Stoke-on-Trent station is situated on the West Coast Mainline and provides easy access from Manchester, Birmingham, Crewe, Derby and London. Clayton Wood is a five minute taxi ride from the station.