Southgate to officially open redeveloped Crystal Palace Academy

Work on the £20m redevelopment began in June 2020

Work on the £20m redevelopment began in June 2020

ENGLAND manager Gareth Southgate will formally open Crystal Palace’s redeveloped Category One Academy in Beckenham next Thursday.

The £20m redevelopment has created five grass training pitches, a full-size outdoor 3G pitch with floodlighting, a show pitch, a full-size covered indoor training pitch and gym, as well as a complex of offices, analysis rooms, lecture room, meeting rooms, classrooms, restaurant and kitchen.

These are already in use and a state-of-the-art medical rehab and gym therapy area is currently underway and will form the final phase of the development.

Palace were promoted to Category One Academy status in June 2020, which is when work began on the site opposite the first-team training ground on Copers Cope Road in Beckenham.

Southgate graduated from Palace’s youth system in 1990, having joined the club at the age of 16. The future England player and manager went on to make 191 senior appearances for the Eagles, including captaining them to the First Division title.

Palace chairman Steve Parish said: “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.

“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.

“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. He is an immensely proud part of our history and we also hope we can produce some home grown 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.”

Parish had described the previous Academy site as “ramshackle and run down”, with “terrible” boundaries and “awful security”.

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