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Leicester’s impressive £100m training base nears finish after suffering unique delays

Leicester’s impressive new £100m training base nears it’s finish after suffering some very unique delays to works at the new site.

The Foxes’ new training ground, will be situated near Seagrave on the site of the former 185 acre Park Hill golf course, off the A46.

Building work first got underway in 2018, and the club had initially hoped they would move into the new training ground in time for pre-season ahead of the 2020-21 campaign.

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However that hasn’t been able to happen and it’s not helped due to the coronavirus pandemic, though work didn’t totally stop.

The club remain at Belvoir Drive training ground for the time being, with the move to be set for a time that is more convenient.

Plans for the site, which will be surrounded by a nine-hole golf course, includes 11 full-size pitches – including one show pitch with a 499-seater stand – eight smaller pitches, five training grids, two goalkeeping areas, and a sports turf academy for developing the next generation of groundstaff.

A new video along with photos has emerged on social media and it’s fair to say this looks absolutely stunning…

Chairman Aiyawatt ‘Top’ Srivaddhanaprabha is on course to continue the legacy of his late father Vichai, who had the vision to transform a former golf course into a state-of-the-art futuristic facility which is sure to envy of their richest Premier League rivals.

Martin Burge, a project director of contractors McLaren revealed that Brendan Rodgers and his squad will get the very best – even delaying the initial work by two weeks to allow the club’s Thai owner to follow his Buddhist beliefs.

Burge, who is also a Leicester fan, revealed why he couldn’t get the green light to start building the main training centre until the monks moved in to give the project their blessing.

He said: “Buddhism is very spiritual. They said it had to be done on a certain day, as some days are luckier than others and in that building it had to be a certain [element of the] steel [structure], as certain areas of the building are lucky and others aren’t.

“It went to and fro for weeks about what the date was going to be and then we had to make a compromise in the end because we knew where we wanted to make a start in the steelwork.”

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Club officials including Top Srivaddhanaprabha, manager Brendan Rodgers, and players such as Jamie Vardy and title-winning skipper Wes Morgan came to the site for the ceremony which took place in a specially-erected marquee.

“It was a really good ceremony,” said Burge. “They blessed the steel – tied ribbons round it, and showered it with flowers and coins – and it was cracking to be part of that.

“It had to be done at exactly 10.20am, that morning. It was orchestrated to the second.

“We had the crane there with the steel basically hanging from the steel erectors, and we had a countdown from five to one then had to drop it down onto the holding down bolts, tighten it up and release it.

“It was one of those where suddenly you’ve got loads of people watching and a bit of steel hanging there and you are thinking – this could go so wrong.

“There was an enormous sigh of relief when the steel was there and down.”

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Something else was a problem to the project, which also has 35 bedrooms so players can stay on site – and a turf academy, run by groundsman John Ledwidge and his team, who will train groundsmen from a variety of sports, including polo, as well as football.

Work also had to be delayed to find new homes for a colony of NEWTS which had made the golf course’s ponds their home and were a European protected species – and had their own rights to be there of course.

The amphibians can only be moved under license from Natural England, and only when the temperature is above 5°C believe it or not.

In total, it’s reported that 348 great crested newts were re-homed, along with a further (non-protected) 257 smooth newts and 245 common toads.

To lay their training pitches, Leicester had to lift up 4,000 trees and re-plant them on the new nine-hole golf-course.

The plan is the make the area more greener too under the values of the project, so 38,000 trees are being planted, in and around the rural hideaway.

The Foxes currently sit 4th in the Premier League table for the 2020/21 season, taking 21 points from 11 games played.

Rodgers told beIN Sports: ‘There’s ambition with the club. We can never compete financially with the top six but we can be competitive [on the pitch].

‘We move to a new training ground later in the summer which will be one of the best in the world.

‘The consistency has been great to see. Up until Christmas we were on a great run. After Christmas there are challenges with a young squad, but any bumps we’ve had, we’ve been able to get over that.

‘It’s always refreshing when you work with a group who are so hungry to learn. They want to be better, they want to improve. But then you have senior players who are top-class professionals and that always helps.

‘I wouldn’t like to say I’m surprised because we’ve done a lot of hard work on and off the pitch, but it’s always nice when you see the fruits of your work.’

Leicester’s impressive £100m training base got plenty of love online, see what users had to say…

Aggie Frith: Drove by it the other day looks amazing

Shane Lcfc Bruce: Place is massive

Mahesh Daji: Hope they have tours, would be awesome to look around. Proud of our Owners, changed our Club right round for the better. Next stage, extension of the KP. Can’t wait for the next stage.

Jake Palmer: OMG that looks so amazing

@foreverfoxes: Class from class owners

Richard Wightman: Looks absolutely fantastic, we are so lucky to have these owners

Paul Kitchen: I would normally say “what the fuck with the name” but that man gave us everything and then his life. R.I.P The greatest man ever. I’ll never be able to thank you. And dont think I could if you was still with us. Forever in your Debt.

Amanda Louise Harris: He would love that the boss khun vichai

Christine Derbyshire: Wow what can I say

@WHUFCGeezer: Serious investment , whilst we refurb a 2nd rate facility

@lukegarnham_: Amount of times you see clubs wanting to build these type of facilities and they don’t even get the planning permission to do it haha

@zxspectrum128: It’s going to look fantastic

Jason Lee: Leicester’s impressive £100m training base, jeez ain’t it a thing of beauty

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