Bases covered over training ground

Mark Read PlayFootball marketing and brand manager, Andy Awford PFC, Alec Boyd PlayFootball general manager and Daniel Butler PFC player.
Mark Read PlayFootball marketing and brand manager, Andy Awford PFC, Alec Boyd PlayFootball general manager and Daniel Butler PFC player.
Conor Chaplin. Picture: Joe Pepler

Pompey boss weighs up best attacking formula

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POMPEY’S training ground move to Roko remains on course.

But the Blues look set to start the build-up for the new campaign at their current University of Portsmouth base.

Pompey are now close to announcing the switch to their new Hilsea site.

Work is being carried out there, but will not be ready for when Andy Awford’s men return on June 26.

With the Pompey Supporters’ Trust launching their share push, they are keen to give supporters a glimpse of what their money will be contributing towards.

As part of that, the club are expecting to have plans for the training ground on show at the open day they are staging at Fratton Park on May 25.

It is hoped the Blues will be able to showcase the Roko project there with the news officially announced by that stage.

Work has been ongoing at the Copnor Road site already used by the club’s Academy set-up.

But fans have now raised fears the lengthy wait to announce the move meant there were problems with the new centre.

Chief executive Mark Catlin explained that wasn’t the case.

Catlin feels it is necessary to err on the side of caution as the finer details of the work are completed.

He said: ‘I always try not to comment too much on things which are outside of my control.

‘When you are in the hands of solicitors and other parties, I find that harder.

‘There is a lot of exploratory work going on at Roko at the moment.

‘Everything is on schedule in terms of where we were to be with regard to the training ground.

‘But until the ink is dry on the contract, we can’t say too much because there are things to tie up.’

Pompey spent the majority of last season at the Langstone campus university site at Furze Lane.

That was after using St John’s College playing fields at Farlington after reporting back for duty.

Working with the university underlines a huge improvement in relations after they refused to work with Pompey when in administration.

Catlin is pleased Pompey have a solid training option at the university.

He added: ‘We have an alternative at the university.

‘They’ve been great with us this year but that was a fractious relationship before the club were taken over by the community.

‘It had broken down, but we are back now working with them. Paul Tilley (university head of sport and recreation) there has been fantastic.

‘Whatever happens with the new training site, we are in a position to have facilities in place for the start of next season.’