Manchester City announce building work to commence on new ground-breaking academy

The current reigning top flight champions have unveiled plans to develop a new training facility for both the youth teams and senior side right next to the Etihad Stadium
Manchester City have announced that they are to begin work on a state-of-the-art academy to be ready for the start of the 2014-15 Premier League season.

The training facility will also be available to the first team and will be built adjacent to the Etihad Stadium on an 80 acre site, with BAM Construction, part of the Royal BAM Group chosen as their construction partner for the project.

The City Football Academy as it shall be known, will provide a centre for up to 400 young players as well as housing the new training base for the first team and operational functions.
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Former Arsenal, Inter and Juventus midfielder Patrick Vieira, now a football executive at Manchester City believes that the project is not only a hugely exciting one but necessary in helping to shape the future of the club.

"What I find really exciting about the project is that before designing the facilities they have been to the football world, the basketball world and the NFL world, so a lot of hard work has been done around the project," Vieira explained.

"That is why I believe it is the best project around in all sports because people have spent a lot of time travelling around the world and trying to capture the best in every sport and bring it here.

"It is a long-term commitment from the football club and I am really excited about it because once you see the pictures, then you can't wait for the work to start.

"I think the club are creating something fantastic because when you are a footballer you want to develop yourself and are looking for the best facilities to do so.

"I think those facilities will give all the young players from the youth to the first team the chance to improve themselves and to challenge themselves.

"Especially for the youth, because when you bring a young talented player to your club, you want to give them the best chance to achieve their dream of playing for our first team, and I think those facilities will give them what they will need to improve themselves.
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"Something really clear is that since Sheikh Mansour has taken over he always wanted the club to be sustainable, and I think that this proves that is really important to him.

"So this is a long-term project and the club is going up and the project makes it really exciting."

The development will also include up to 200 classrooms, on site accomodation for both senior and junior players, staff offices, a dedicated media centre and 16.5 football pitches, 12 of which have been dedicated to players aged from 8 to 21.

Designs will feature a state-of-the-art first-team building with changing rooms, gym, refectory and injury and rehab centre and a 7000 capacity stadium for youth-team matches, while there will be a bridge linking the new facility to the Etihad Stadium close by.

The club's chief executive Ferran Soriano, having only just moved to Manchester City from a similar role at Catalan giants Barcelona, echoed Vieira's thoughts that this latest step highlighted the owner's long-term commitment to the club.

"Today is an extremely important day for the future of Manchester City," he told reporters.

"The development of young and homegrown players is central to our strategy of creating both a winning team and a sustainable football club – an ambition outlined by Sheikh Mansour at the outset of his ownership in September 2008.

"We are now in a position, after four years of research and planning, to execute that strategy."