Eddie Howe provides Newcastle United update on ‘incredible’ training ground upgrade
Back in June, North Tyneside Council approved planning permission to upgrade Newcastle’s Darsley Park training ground. Ground work has been ongoing since the back end of last season before building work got underway in the summer.
United striker Callum Wilson described the training ground as ‘a building site’ when he at the start of the 2022-23 but insisted it was ‘all for a good cause’. With players and staff still needing to use the facilities to train, recover and prepare for matches, progress was limited during the first part of the season.
Single-storey side and rear extensions to the east side of the Benton training complex are still ongoing, but plenty of progress to the building has been made during the World Cup break. The training ground now boasts a vastly improved dining area as well as upgraded changing rooms.
Reflecting on what it has been like to return to the training ground after the mid-season break, Newcastle head coach Eddie Howe told The Gazette: “The training ground has changed.
"We now have a proper eating area for the players which looks fantastic. I'm really, really pleased with the outcome of that and the difference it makes to our working environment has been incredible.
"I'm really, really pleased with how the training ground is now taking shape. We're still very early stages with a changing room and a place to eat so we're still adding bits and pieces to that.
"But that will be transformative, that will change a lot in terms of how we feel and how we work there today. We're enjoying preparing now for the competitive games, which is what it's all about.”
Before the break, Howe hinted the work going on at the training ground was having an adverse effect on his players as they were forced to change in three separate changing rooms while the new one was being constructed.
“We’ve had no benefits [from the training ground] for the moment, almost the opposite,” Howe said back in October. “We’re in a very cramped space, but hopefully soon the players will go into their changing room, so that’ll be a massive lift for them, not so much for the staff, yet, but hopefully we’ll see the benefits in a few weeks.
"But the players are the priority. They’ll go into their new changing room, which is a much bigger space, and it’ll mean that they’re all together."
It is hoped that the remainder of the work will be completed by the end of the season. Once finished, the training ground will feature hydrotherapy and plunge pools, a new players’ lounge, new medical treatment rooms and new offices in addition to the upgrades that have already been completed.
The long-term plan for Newcastle's owners is to eventually relocate the club’s training ground to a new state-of-the-art site. A number of sites across the city have already been discussed.
Following Tuesday night’s Carabao Cup fourth round tie against Bournemouth, Newcastle will return to Premier League action at Leicester City on Boxing Day (3pm kick-off).