Work on Pompey fan-funded pitches set to start

Work on the new pitches is expected to start when the weather improves next month
Work on the new pitches is expected to start when the weather improves next month
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Work will next month begin on the second stage of Pompey’s training ground transformation.

And Mark Catlin expects completion in time for this summer’s pre-season.

The new pitches will be situated at the back of the current complex

The new pitches will be situated at the back of the current complex

Back in August 2014, supporters raised £270,000 to construct two Academy pitches at the Copnor Road venue.

Organised through Tifosy, 5,494 different funders contributed to the three-month campaign, exceeding all expectations.

Following the securing of planning permission in October 2015, pitch work has been held back until an improvement in the weather.

However, that is now pencilled in to commence in March, with pitch drainage one of the first items on the agenda.

In addition, fencing is to be constructed alongside the footpath/cycle way leading from Devon Road to Hilsea railway station.

Once completed, it will give Pompey four-and-a-half training pitches.

Although, the two additional playing surfaces will serve as a permanent base for the Academy.

Blues chief executive Catlin said: ‘Obviously with the winter weather we have been waiting for the right time to start work on the pitches.

‘That will be next month – with the aim of completion in time for the start of pre-season training.

‘It was a phenomenal effort from our supporters to raise the money required to fund these extra pitches and soon we will see that development come to fruition.

‘This additional work will provide our training ground with four-and-a-half pitches and allow our Academy to be based there.

‘The development of the training ground has gone from strength-to-strength and soon we will have the youngsters and the first team effectively under one roof.

‘This wouldn’t have been possible without the generosity of football supporters and once again we thank them for their efforts.

‘Everyone has worked together on this and undoubtedly it will benefit the future of the club and assist in its growth.’

Currently, the Academy’s senior sides use Furze Lane, Milton, for competitive matches.

The revamped pitches on the Rugby Camp site will provide the option for them to relocate such fixtures to the club’s training ground.

For Tifosy, who ran the campaign, Pompey represented a tremendously successful crowd-funding story.

The company are currently working with Oldham Athletic to raise the required £120,000 to construct a big screen at their Boundary Park home.

The project has been portrayed as ‘improving the match-day experience’, giving supporters pre-match entertainment, in-game replays and generating increased advertising revenue.

Tonight Tifosy will also launch a campaign to redevelop Bradford City’s Valley Parade home.

The League One club’s supporters’ board are targeting raising £250,000 to renovate the players’ changing rooms and install a big screen to replace the outdated scoreboard.