David Flitcroft excited by Mansfield Town's RH Academy
David Flitcroft admitted he was very excited about the imminent opening of Mansfield Town's new RH Academy training ground at Pleasley.
The ground has faced several delays in recent years but is finally set to open its doors next month.
“It’s something we are massively excited about and I can’t wait to get down there,” said Flitcroft.
“It is one of the reasons I came here. Down at Swindon we were training at a leisure centre where we had one pitch.
“I asked the Swindon chairman what were his plans and a training ground wasn’t a key focus.
“There is a real plan here. We had Brooksby and we had the One Call and they were not talking to each other – communication had broken down.
“So we have bridged that gap and are in fantastic communication with people who are doing an incredible job down at Brooksby. They are top people.”
He continued: “There are two things that improve players and they are resource and a training ground.
“A lot of the academies are trying to go classroom-based, but I think get them out on the training pitch, get then out on the grass, get them out in the gym and improve them physically. It’s the only way. You need to go out and do it, not just talk about it.”
Flitcroft believes bringing his first team squad alongside the U21s and the cream of the U18s will be hugely beneficial to all.
“I have a young squad here and they all love being out on the training ground,” he said.
“When we get the new training ground it will be easier to do double sessions. The U21s will be up there with too.
“We have had five or six U21s train with us while we have been up here. When you have them alongside you, you can see their character.
“And the best three or four U18s will get the opportunity to come up and train with us too. It will aspirational and inspirational.”
Meanwhile, Mansfield Town intend moving all their reserve team fixtures up to the new RH Academy training ground at Pleasley.
Although the grass pitches are not yet ready, the main 3G surface is complete and Stags played a Central League game on there for the first time this week, beating Grimsby Town 1-0.
With it being a 3G surface, Stags are aware some opponents could object.
“I think when they see the actual surface they will see it’s a top class one,” added Flitcroft.
“It’s a fantastic surface and I don’t think too many teams will object unless they have older players that they want to give games to.
“It’s a fantastic place to play any game of football.”