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Training

DEAL AGREED FOR NEW TRAINING GROUND

20 May 2014

Base being built at Roko site

Pompey will have a long-term training base in the city from later this year after a deal to create a modern facility at the Roko Health Club site on Copnor Road was signed.

The agreement will see the Blues invest significant funds to initially create two state-of-the-art training pitches, as well as integrate and refurbish the existing changing rooms and player lounge facilities at the rear of the site.

The club will also install offices for football department staff and create a purpose-designed fitness suite for the players.

Pompey have signed a long-term lease with Roko, whose health club services and facilities at the Copnor Road site will be unaffected.

Local football club Pickwick will also benefit, with their teams moving their training and playing operations to Alexandra Park after the City Council joined with Roko and Pompey to help find them a new home.

Contractors have been working on the site since April and the club hopes to be using the facility by the end of the summer. In the meantime, Pompey will continue to use their current training base at the University of Portsmouth.

Blues chief executive Mark Catlin said: “We are delighted with this deal and are very grateful to Roko, the council and Pickwick FC for making it happen.

“It is further tangible evidence of our commitment to rebuild the club to ensure it can continue to grow sustainably in the future.

“Andy Awford and his staff have all been involved in the discussions and they are looking forward to using the new training ground, which is being designed to their specification.

“We see these works as a first phase and if, as we are confident of happening, the club continues to progress, the site can be expanded and developed.”

Gerald Vernon-Jackson, leader of Portsmouth City Council said: “It has been good for the City Council to be part of a plan for the football club to have a long-term training base here in the city.

“By the city council, football club, Roko and Pickwick working together we have found a solution that works for everyone.”

Barry Hunter, CEO at Sport & Leisure Group which runs the Roko site said: “We are very excited by the prospect of Portsmouth Community Football Club basing their training ground at our Copnor Road site.

“Roko Health Club and our five-a-side centre PlayFootball are well entrenched sport and fitness venues in the Portsmouth community and we believe this opportunity fits very well with our local strategy.”

Phil Scott, chairman of Pickwick FC, said: “We are sad to be leaving our home ground at Roko Sports Centre. However, we are excited at the prospect of relocating to Alexandra Park, where we will be able to increase the number of pitches we currently have at Roko. This will better accommodate our 26 teams.”

The new training ground will be launched at a media event at Roko Health Club later today (Tuesday).

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