Tony Book formally opens state-of-the-art training centre
This week saw the launch of the City Football Academy; a vast 80–acre regenerated brownfield site in East Manchester. The facility is a state-of-the-art training centre that has taken two years to build, and over five years in meticulous planning. It includes 16.5 pitches, of which 12.5 are dedicated to youth development, and a 7000 capacity stadium which will be used primarily by the Elite Development Squad and City women's team.
There will be in excess of 450 players training at the Academy each week, from the under 6's all the way up to the first team. 75% of players in the Academy will be drawn from the Greater Manchester area. Additionally, 78 Academy players will study at the Connell Sixth Form College which sits on the 5.5 acres of the CFA site donated to the community by the club (which also houses a leisure centre and swimming pool).
The local community and the environment were key considerations in the building of the complex, and were the economic benefits to the area. 883 contracts were awarded to local companies, with 70% of the workforce drawn from Greater Manchester.
The centre was formally opened on Monday by former City captain and manager Tony Book, with chairman Khaldoon Al Mubarak and Sir Richard Leese, Leader of Manchester City Council, also in attendance.
“At the outset of his ownership, back in Autumn 2008, His Highness Sheikh Mansour bin Zayed Al Nahyan, set out his vision for the future of Manchester City Football Club. He pledged to bring success on the field and to nurture young talent whilst at the same time remaining proudly rooted to the community in which it resided”, said Khaldoon Al Mubarak.
“The cornerstone of the future, was a vision for youth development and sustainability; a vision to educate talented young footballers on and off the pitch and to do so in a facility supported by the best coaches and coaching programmes. The vision was underpinned by an unwavering commitment to the regeneration of the local area in both economic and environmental terms.
“Today marks the end of six years of extensive research, development and construction involving many, many people. It also marks the beginning of a responsibility to deliver against the opportunities that this Academy now creates for us.”