Bombers aim to land No.1 training facility - Sports News - Fanatics - the world's biggest events

Bombers aim to land No.1 training facility

Greg Buckle 17/12/2010 06:24:35 PM Comments (0)

Move over 2010 AFL premiers Collingwood.

In fact, move over every football code in Australia because Essendon hope their new training facility will top all that came before it, according to Bombers chairman David Evans.

The Bombers will shift their training base to Melbourne Airport by 2013 in a project that could cost up to $25 million, although the federal government has approved a $6 million grant as part of Essendon's plans to share the facilities with the Australian Paralympic Committee.

Two ovals, one the size of the MCG and the other shaped like Etihad Stadium, form the centrepieces of the facility.

"That's what we aim to do, is try to get best practice across a whole host of codes, not just AFL football," Evans told reporters on Friday.

"That's the ambition and given the amount of space we've got to grow into with two grounds ... and the largest indoor-training facility as well, the ambition is big.

"It's a bold ambition but we think we can pull it off.

"We've still got some funding to do, but we're off to a start there as well.

"Certainly the facilities have all been upgraded (at rival clubs) over the course of the last half-dozen years through a combination of state and federal funding as well as private benefactors getting behind clubs.

"My view is (the key to improving facilities) is not just looking at Collingwood and Adelaide, it's also looking at other codes as well, not only in Australia but also internationally."

Evans said the reaction from members at Thursday night's annual general meeting to the news about the airport move was positive.

"At the AGM you're not sure what you'll get," he said.

"But certainly we had a lot of people united with us and very pleased with what we've done, not only with the coaching panel (headed by club great James Hird) but also with the announcement of the move to Melbourne Airport.

"Judged on last night, I think it's going to be fine.

"The members understand that we have got to ensure that we give our players and coaching staff the very best opportunity to compete at the highest level and that's what this move is all about."

Evans said providing the best-possible training facilities for playing and coaching staff had become "very significant" in the fight to win premierships.

Big-spending premiers Collingwood have become the envy of rival clubs with their high-tech facilities at Olympic Park.

"There's a bit of an arms race going on. The preparation of players ... is just critical," Evans said.

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