Sir Alex Ferguson officially opens new Aberdeen FC training facilities
Sir Alex Ferguson marked the official opening of Aberdeen Football Club’s new community sports hub, training facilities and football academy yesterday.
The legendary football manager, who steered the club through its most successful period, was the guest of honour at the ribbon-cutting ceremony for the £12 million Cormack Park campus.
The facilities represent the first phase of Aberdeen FC’s vision for a dynamic and inclusive football and community facility and stadium.
Sir Alex was joined at the opening by former player Bobby Clark, manager Derek McInnes, club chairman Stewart Milne and vice-chairman Dave Cormack.
Named after the vice-chairman to mark his significant contribution to the project, Cormack Park is home to the Bobby Clark Football Academy and the AFC Community Trust. It features a state-of-the-art training pavilion, groundsman’s accommodation, three professional training pitches, two floodlit 3G pitches and two grass pitches.
There is also outdoor and indoor space for a variety of community-based sporting and recreational activities.
Speaking at the opening, Sir Alex said: “I am greatly honoured to officially open these magnificent facilities which are part of AFC’s broader ambition for the future of the club, its players and its fans.
“The positive impact on performance and morale of best-in-class training facilities cannot be underestimated – and these facilities are up there with some of the best I’ve seen. There is no doubt that Cormack Park will help the club to attract, retain and develop the players and coaches it needs to compete at the highest level.
“The club has to be congratulated for pursuing the vision to develop these training facilities and taking on the significant challenge of building its new stadium on the adjacent land in order to derive greater benefits for the club, its players – particularly the future generation – and the wider community. This will be the envy of many other clubs, not just in Scotland.”
AFC chairman, Stewart Milne, expressed his delight at finally having completed phase one of the two-phase £55m development at Kingsford.
The Stewart Milne Group founder said: “Cormack Park will provide the best environment to inspire, motivate, attract and retain today’s and tomorrow’s players, coaches and management. Our community facilities will be the cornerstone on which the Trust will be able to deliver even more for local communities in Aberdeen and across the Shire.
“On completion of phase two, we will have a complex that will act as a catalyst for greater sporting achievements and events in the region and will aid our quest to be a UEFA Top 100 Club. As a focal point for our footballers and their coaches to train and interact with the community, as well as off the pitch operations, it will achieve our ambition of driving maximum socio-economic benefits into our communities through the power of and passion for football.
“This progressive, modernisation strategy will lead the way in Scottish football with an integrated facility that acts as a destination and visitor attraction, forming a key part of the regeneration we are seeing across the city and wider region.”