When David Wagner arrived as Head Coach at Huddersfield Town, he admitted he was shocked at the level of facilities we had at the club.
The training complex contained a working men’s club and gym where players and fan could freely co-exist with each other. Whilst this allowed the club to maintain that bond with the local community, Wagner had never seen this before in Germany.
Swiftly, he ordered owner Dean Hoyle to create a players’ area where they could go when they wanted their privacy away from public eyes.
When Huddersfield Town achieved promotion in May 2017, everyone knew we had to become as much of a Premier League club off the pitch as we were on it.
To this end, the announcement from the club of the new development plans for Canalside is a welcome one.
In order to retain the services of David Wagner, who is now one of the most highly regarded coaches and managers in European football after his achievements with our club, we had to match his ambition and vision for the club.
Dean Hoyle recognised that and the new complex is the fruits of that vision.
Amongst a host of new facilities, added infrastructure and polished aesthetic for the training complex is a proposed three-story first team complex.
A university style lecture suite will be installed where Wagner, his coaching staff or external speakers can deliver talks, pre-match tactics, and conferences.
New and improved dressing rooms will also be included as part of this new development as well as ice baths and other cool-down facilities and a dedicated first team training pitch.
With many Premier League club’s training grounds more university campus than local park, Town have to keep up in order to: develop their existing players whilst also making the club more attractive to potential signings, make the club more attractive to youth-team players wanting to join the development squad and on the commercial side of things, investment and sponsorship, both locally, nationally and foreign.
The club will be keen to keep the community as integrated as they can to Canalside whilst ramping up the professional aspect of the facilities. Wagner does not want to lose that link to the community.
Equally, he will want complete control over what he wants as a manager and how to work with his players. This new complex will give him exactly that.
We welcome this bold, new step forward by the club. It sends out a signal that again, we are serious about staying in the Premier League and have the ambition to match our status.
It also proves to our charismatic German that we are progressing as a club. He has always said that he will leave when he has taken the club as far as he can.
So far, he is transforming it in ways that will protect the future of the club for generations to come and leave a legacy we can look back on with pride.