Date:Thursday March 31 2011
Swansea City boss Brendan Rodgers told the Evening Post about his future plans for the club to have their own training ground.
The Northern Irishman believes it is vital that the club have their own training facility, whereby all levels - from under 9s to the senior team can use it together.
Rodgers continues to use Spanish Champions Barcelona as his inspiration for the Swans and he visited their training ground recently.
Rodgers, who still plans on being in the city when he's 70, says he hopes he can look back in the distant future and see that he has taken Swansea City forward:
'When I am 70 with my stick, I want to be able to walk with my wife around Mumbles or through Swansea and be able to look back and think that in the time we spent here, we helped the club grow,'
'I'm talking about trying to pull together the culture and the philosophy of the club.
'As well as the on-field stuff, I see that as a big part of the work that I do.
'And one of the biggest things for me is to get our own training ground.
'That's important for any club. But especially if you have a philosophy like ours. I think it's important to drip-feed things into your youngsters right the way though.
'Players have got to see it and they have to feel it, so that's a vital part of the legacy for me.
'I would like to have a successful team, of course, but also to secure a training ground that caters for all our teams. I see that as vital to the development of our club.'
Swansea City currently train at the Glamorgan Racquet Club but ideally Rodgers wants the club to have it's own independant training ground and facilities:
'We have a wonderful facility at the Glamorgan (Racket Club) and I have enjoyed working there,'
'But it's not ours, just as the stadium is not ours, and I think we have to have something.
'That's not just for now but for the future and the generations of youngsters who are going to come through.
'If we want to have that philosophy being drip-fed to the kids in future decades, it starts now.'
Rodgers also talked about his visit to Barcelona:
'It's not rocket science — they just have the mentality that it's about football for the kids as well as the first team,'
'They hope that one day, they will bring one of the under-10s into the first team.
'And when you look at their first team at the moment, they are reaping rewards for that approach.
'That doesn't happen overnight. It needs growth and it takes a lot of hard work.
'I hear some people say Barca can do that because they have a big budget but that totally disrespects the work that has gone in over many years, from the coaches and the directors, to make sure the philosophy stays in place.'
Rodgers wants the youth and senior players to work closer together, and a club-owned training facility would help that:
Players like Joe Allen have come through and we have some excellent staff in the centre of excellence who work very hard,'
'But what we want to do is get them closer to the first team. Rather then the first team being here, the youth team there and the kids somewhere else, can we all be together?
'I know we're talking about one of the biggest clubs in the world in Barcelona but I'm talking about a scaled-down version.'
'I read a comment (from Garry Monk) recently which was quite funny but also the reality,' Rodgers says.
'It mentioned how we are the only club in the Championship where the players shower with the fans after training.
'If we are going to go through the levels in the years ahead, that's something we need to address.
'You can carry on doing what you have always done but then you will always be where you are.
'I think it's important to help the club move forward and the single biggest thing here is to get our own home.'
'I'm trying to take little steps,'
'We are growing as a club all the time but there are lots of ways where a training ground could help.
'Apart from the pitches, there is office space, analysis, the medical side — the modern game is about these little details.
'We are in a multi-million pound business and the fact is there are not many businesses where the doors would be open for the public to walk in.'
Date:Thursday March 31 2011
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