9 days ago
Norwich City's Lotus Training Centre was officially opened by majority shareholders Delia Smith and Michael Wynn Jones on Thursday.
Matt Windle, managing director of the Lotus Group, who sponsor the training ground, was joined alongside our sporting director Stuart Webber as the ribbon was cut by Delia.
During the past five years there have been many improvements to the site near Hethersett, with a new academy building, gym and first-team facilities being installed alongside state-of-the-art pitches.
Members of the local and national media were given a tour of the facilities on Thursday, as well as a presentation from our sporting director Stuart Webber.
They also got to see the newly-installed SoccerBot360 system. Norwich are the first club in the UK to have this system, which using a 360-degree projector screen and computer programmes can test players congnitive, scanning and passing skills in a controlled environment.
Assistant sporting director Neil Adams, who has been a player, coach and manager at the club ever since we moved up to the training site in the mid-1990s, says the irmpovements that have been made, make him very proud.
"When were came here 20 years ago they were good facilities, but they became very dated and tired," he said.
"In the last four or five years it (the training ground) has been transformed, literally in every building and every department.
"The new gym, the new academy building, the new restaurant facilities, the new first team facilities and the pitches as well. We have also seen the SoccerBot and there are future plans as well. It is a complete change from what it was five years ago. The pleasing thing is the club is not intending to stop there. There are plans for the future which I think is fantastic for everybody that we continue to head that way."
Speaking about the SoccerBot, our head of data strategy and innovation, John Iga, added: "It is a key part of it. We spoke about testing and understanding our players deeply and we can be really lazer precise in terms of in prescribing activities for them specific training programmes. The SoccerBot gives an opportunity to train key skills for future elite performers in a controlled environment and allow us to manipulate key variables and improve cognitive skills."
Jon added that the facilities the club now has could help them attract players to sign for Norwich City too.
"I think the training ground is part of the recruitment," he said. "If players can see an environment that they they can develop in that might be the small nugget that helps us sign the next player. So these facilities are key in terms of our player recruitment."
You can view a gallery of pictures, as local and national media were given a tour of the training ground facilities below.