Mansfield Town are planning to expand their academy and training facilities to welcome new youngsters, reports Nottinghamshire Live.
The League Two side have bought land from the County Council in order to extend the Radford & Hymas Academy and alleviate ‘problematic’ car parking.
Improvements will include a new covered pitch and car parking facility as the Stags look to increase their service to more young players.
The initial plot of land for the main training facility was purchased by the club in 2016, allowing them to develop the RH Football Academy and training ground used by professionals, academy students and the community, which was officially opened in September 2018.
Currently, the facilities are comprised of a full-sized and floodlit 3G pitch, three full-sized grass pitches and a mini pitch for weekend use. A pavilion on site contains four dressing rooms, showers, physiotherapy rooms and a function room, as well as two classrooms, offices and an education hub.
Now even more land has been bought across the road from the current academy, around 5.5 acres in size.
A primary school based next to the academy uses the new land as an informal drop off point during term time, whilst the football club also uses the space to alleviate its own parking problems.
The 5.5 acre area had been set aside for potential housing, but the Nottinghamshire-based football club have swooped in to allow the academy expansion to come forward.
What’s been said?
A Mansfield Town spokesperson said: “We are delighted with the land sale. Expanding our academy is a big step towards our commitment to youth development and community engagement.
“We look forward to welcoming more young players to our ranks and seeing the positive impact of our new and expanded facilities.”
Council papers say: “Mansfield Town Development Ltd approached the council with a view to acquiring the land to enable an extension of their facilities to include a covered pitch and additional car parking. The use of the facility in evenings and weekends is extensive and car parking can be problematic.
“The purchase of the land will, subject to planning permission, enable additional parking to be provided. [It will also enable the] development of a covered pitch to provide additional playing pitch and training capacity to help meet the ever-increasing demand for use of the facilities.”
Investing in the facilities is an important step in the sustainable growth of a football club. Nigel Clough’s side will be hoping to develop young talent that can impact the first team, or be sold on for financial gain for the club.
Youth recruitment is clearly an area the owners have identified has a key area for concern, with concerted efforts to improve the facilities over the past few years, which will allow them to further compete with the Nottingham-based clubs and nearby Chesterfield.