Manchester City are to become first Premier League club to sleep at their own training ground before home games, following the opening of the new £100m facility next to the Etihad Stadium.
City’s players will not be sleeping at the Etihad Campus tonight, ahead of tomorrow’s home match with Tottenham Hotspur, but the plan is to do so, as the club seek to maximise the benefits of the new facility, the design of which draws upon some of the best sports complexes in the world.
Only a third of the new Campus is currently operational but the first team moved in two weeks ago and the Academy in the south side of the City is also being moved across. The facility will be fully functional by December.
Patrick Vieira, manager of City’s elite development squad, said: “The first team will be able to stay there on the night before a home game, instead of going to a hotel. I think it’s an advantage to stay – when I played in Italy we had a place to stay after training. Normally, after training you want to go straight home so you don’t end up stuck in traffic, but here you can stay and have a treatment, and leave much later. It is more professional.
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“When you are a football player you need to want to spend time in training, so a good training ground needs everything you need to keep you there. This facility has everything. Maybe at other places there are certain things you don’t have, but here you have everything. The quality of the pitches is unbelievable, and from the moment you come in, even if it early in the morning, there are people there to look after you until five or six pm.
“So you come in and do your pre-activation, go to training, then lunch, then maybe a treatment. If you need a sleep, there is a place to sleep. Everything tells the players that they can stay from early morning to evening and have everything they need to look after themselves. It means no more excuses.”
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