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Warriors backroom team gets tour of new centre
MEMBERS of the Worcester Warriors backroom team were given a sneak preview of the soon-to-be-completed National Football Centre at Burton-upon-Trent.
Sixways head coach Richard Hill, head of strength and conditioning Stuart Pickering and head of medical services Mike Lancaster travelled to St George’s Park to have a behind-the-scenes look at the £100million project.
The fact-finding mission in Staffordshire was a worthwhile exercise, according to boss Hill, who admitted teams such as Warriors will be encouraged to use the state-of-the-art facilities on offer.
The former England scrum-half said: “It was an interesting trip for us. We got to see what the vision is for Burton and a lot of work is going on.
“It was a hard-hat-and-see job and we saw all the site and what it will offer. It’s still very much a building site in places but you can see what it will become. The indoor football pitches are all complete and very impressive.
“It will be a good training environment for teams and they would like to see sides like Warriors use it.
“With two hotels on site, it can certainly entertain a lot of sporting athletes and they will be looking to get them all in.”
Hill added: “The rehabilitation facility is an area I was impressed by.
“They have a top-quality pool and it is very specialised so you can get altitude training environments there too.
“It’s somewhere we could possibly look at in the future but, for now, we are very much based at Sixways and proud of the facilities we have there.”
Construction at St George’s Park is almost complete and, within the next couple of months, England will have an inspirational new home for innovation in sporting performance.
It will feature two new hotels operated by Hilton and, with Spire Healthcare, the country’s first fully-integrated sports medicine centre of its type.
Establishing a National Football Centre in England has long been a dream of the Football Association.
Various sites and schemes were considered over the years before, in 2001, a 330-acre freehold site in Burton was acquired.
The site was landscaped and pitches installed.
Early business plans to complete the centre were not viable.
But, in 2008, the FA board reignited the project and appointed a new National Football Centre board, led by David Sheepshanks.