Gulls ready to pump £100k into new training ground
TORQUAY UNITED are ready to pump up to £100,000 into yet another new training ground.
The money is earmarked to improve land at Forches Cross near Newton Abbot, which has emerged as the favourite to become the Gulls' new training base.
The club is hoping to finalise an agreement with the site's owners, Newton Abbot College and Coombeshead College, any day now.
The plan is for manager Martin Ling and his players to continue working at their current training ground, only a mile away at Seale Hayne, until the autumn.
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Between now and then, a range of improvement work, on drainage, changing facilities and parking areas, will be carried out at Forches Cross.
United have been using Seale Hayne for only two years, following nearly a decade on the centrefield at Newton Abbot Racecourse.
But inherent problems at Seale Hayne – the land there is sloping and there are doubts about its future security in the face of possible residential development – has led United to seek out new pastures.
Manager Ling is a passionate advocate of the club's need to establish a better quality training HQ.
He is on record as saying that it is the key to taking the club forward and making the most of the Youth Scheme.
There is also some urgency to the forthcoming switch.
United have committed themselves to Level Three funding for their Youth operation.
The Gulls' increased contribution of £105,000 (up from £33,000) will trigger £210,000 from the Premier League's Performance Plan.
But to continue qualifying for that backing, United must pass certain criteria for youth training and match facilities, which they do not possess at the moment.