Crystal Palace will welcome former player and current England boss Gareth Southgate to their training ground next Thursday to officially unveil the club’s new academy site.
The Eagles spent £20million on the new development, which is located just over the road from where the first-team train at Copers Cope.
The Category One academy included five grass training pitches, a full-size outdoor 3G pitch, a show pitch, a full-size covered indoor training pitch and a gym.
It also boasts offices, analysis rooms, meeting rooms, a restaurant and kitchen plus medical rehab facilities and an extended gym therapy area that are currently being finished.
“The new Academy will have a transformative effect on the future of the football club and the local community, not only enabling us to attract and retain the best players in one of England’s richest footballing areas but also to help scores of young people and local schools enjoy the facilities,” said chairman Steve Parish.
“We will also be able to offer a comprehensive educational and player care programme ensuring that even those players that don’t make it have an improved set of life choices.”
Southgate will return to open the facility 16 years since he left SE25, having made 191 appearances for Palace between 1988 and 1995 after graduating from their academy.
The 51-year-old joined the club when he was just 16 and captained them to the First Division title during the 1993-94 season.
As a manager, he most recently guided England to the 2018 World Cup semi-finals and the final of the 2020 European Championship at Wembley over the summer.
“Gareth was a pivotal part of creating the current academy system and his success is testament to the type of person and player this club strives to produce,” added Parish.
“He is an immensely proud part of our history and we also hope we can produce some homegrown talent to help England win a major tournament.
“It is fitting that he should open our new facilities to mark this monumental step forward for our football club.”
Source by Football London