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MANAGER: A good facility would be huge for us

Paul Simpson on training facilities at Brunton Park

3 February 2023

Club News

MANAGER: A good facility would be huge for us

Paul Simpson on training facilities at Brunton Park

3 February 2023

To say that finding suitable training venues for the team has been testing over the past few months would be an understatement, with some particularly prolonged wet spells leaving the main training pitch either too soft and soggy or, worse, completely submerged.

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Manager Paul Simpson showed signs of real frustration when he spoke about the issue at his Thursday press conference.

“It’s just not ideal,” he said. “We’ve had so much rain and as much as the groundstaff work hard to keep our one training pitch in play, it’s a real challenge for us as a football club.

“It’s a frustration for me really because if I go back to 2006 we still had the same issues and problems as those we have now. Every manager who has been here has faced the same thing.

“I look around the city and think that there must be somewhere we can get a training ground built. I don’t know who, or how, whether it’s a really wealthy businessman or if the council can get involved, I don’t know.

“Carlisle United Football Club doing well lifts our city and reflects well on all of us. There’s no doubt about that. You just have to look at the faces on Tuesday night to see how much it means.

“We can all feel the buzz around the whole area when this team does well, so there must be some way that we can get some help to enhance our training capability. To get a facility that makes it right for us will help to keep the club pushing forward.”

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“I know I’m going off on one but it’s a big thing for me,” he continued. “I keep talking about wanting the club to be better, and I can see the attendances rising and, when I went up into Foxy’s on Tuesday night, it’s full of sponsors and people wanting to experience the hospitality.

“That’s packed, shop sales are up, website visits are high, so come on, let’s somehow do something that gets us a training ground and facility that makes us a proper football club.

“Everybody else is doing it, all the other cities and towns up and down the country are getting facilities for their clubs which go with what’s needed.

“If we want to keep moving forward this is something we have got to get. Players need it, coaches need it, and hopefully we can find a way forward.”

On the longer away trips United often train at the likes of Nottingham Forest and Leicester where there are specially designed indoor domes, astroturf pitches and a selection of full-sized training pitches that often reaches double figures.

“That kind of stuff is dreamy, it’s good if you get that,” he said. “I’ve been really fortunate to have worked at places like Derby and Bristol City where we had wonderful training grounds.

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“We’re talking about a case of even just needing two pitches for us here. That would be a massive improvement. We could rotate it round and train on grass effectively that way.

“If we could also have some sort of indoor dome for when it’s snowing or frozen, or whatever, that would be superb. With a dome, you could get a lot of use back out of it by hiring it out, as we do with the Neil Centre.

“The Neil is just too small, we can’t actually do any team work in there. Somewhere with a couple of pitches, with changing facilities, and the opportunity to maybe have a dome for when the weather comes in, that would be ideal.

“I’m sure there are grants from Sport England and places like this where they could help, but we need the site and we need someone to have the foresight to go - you know what, this is a really good idea, let’s do it with the club and for the community as well.

“Please, anybody out there who thinks they could do this, come and have a chat with us and let’s see if we can do something.”


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