Bury Take Over Carrington Training Centre
by The Boy Holty
In one of the most extraordinary announcements since, well ever, to come from Bury FC was yesterday's news that The Shakers are to abandon Lower Gigg as a training ground and move to the Carrington Training Complex in South Manchester.
Its a 22 acre site and will be home to the first team, reserves, youth team and in fact all teams down to the under 8's. The idea being that the kids will get to train and work alongside the senior professionals. There are a number of outdoor and indoor pitches, gyms, medical treatment areas, pools and canteen facilities that will knock the spots off pretty much anything any of our players have worked with before. After the initial excitement has worn off, this should be a working environment for the players and coaches that should enable them to focus on their football and maximise their potential.
This is a proper professional standard training complex that is probably one of the country's, if not Europe's best training facilities. City, of course, are too good for it now and move to their brand new £200 million facility next to their Etihad Stadium.
One thing's for sure, this move is going to do wonders for the quality of the type of player we will be able to attract to the club. There won't be any clubs in leagues one or two with these kind of facilities, and probably none in the Championship either.
We've already heard of youth players choosing to join the club's academy ahead of premier league clubs as a result of our excellent academy. We'll be seeing more of that sort of thing after this.
My concern, and I'm sure it is the concern of many other Bury supporters is one of financials. No-one's released the details of the financial arrangements but this won't come cheap. Not only are we renting the site from Manchester City, but the upkeep, overheads and maintenance costs will be tremendous. Its a question that has been asked before, but where is the money coming from for this?
If this is sustainable, then this could be the biggest, boldest and best move this club has ever made. On the other hand, it might prove to be a foolish move and a complete disaster, but Stewart Day and his board, for all their outlandish spending, do always seem to have a plan, and I'm sure this is no different.
The training complex has been the scene of various events such as Mario Balotelli's bust-up with former manager Roberto Mancini, and rumour has it that 'Super Mario' once lost a £10,000 ear-ring somewhere at the ground, so that's something for Bury's players to keep a look out for.
Bury intent to rebrand the whole site in Bury's colours, badges and motifs after whoch it will look splendid. I for one, would go and visit in an instant, if Bury ran some kind of guided tour. I'm going to suggest this to the club and see what response I get.