The official opening ceremony for Colliers Park, the new National Football Development Centre in Wrexham, took place on Sunday.
Colliers Park is the former Wrexham Football Club training ground, with Wrexham Football Club previously owning both the Racecourse Ground and Colliers Park.
Colliers was built at a cost of £750,000 to the club back in 1997.
Barcelona famously used the site for training, which at one point was regarded as one of the best outside the Premier League.
After years of mismanagement by a range of owners the ground and training ground ended up being sold to Glyndwr University.
The partnership between the Football Association of Wales and Glyndwr University is part of the University’s £60m Campus 2025 strategy to provide the best possible facilities and environment for its students.
Based on the site of Gresford Colliery, the high-class training facilities at Colliers Park include; two grass pitches, a 3G pitch, in addition to activation areas, learning suites and changing facilities.
The facilities have recently been tested by the Wales National Senior Men’s & U21 squads ahead of their UEFA Euro 2020 Qualifiers and UEFA Euro 2021 qualifiers respectively, in addition to hosting a UEFA U15 Development Tournament and the 2019 Cymru Cup.
[Dignitaries from the Football Association of Wales (FAW), including FAW CEO Jonathan Ford, Cymru Coach Rob Page and FAW President Kieran O’Connor, were joined by principal project partners and supporters from UEFA, Welsh Government, Wrexham County Borough Council and Wrexham Glyndwr University, to celebrate the opening of the national facility.]
The National Football Development Centre will benefit Welsh football both nationally and locally, offering improved development, recruitment and participation opportunities for talented young boys and girls and the wider football workforce in North Wales.
A partnership between the Football Association of Wales and Wrexham Glyndwr University also means the facility will benefit students.
Vice-Chancellor of Wrexham Glyndwr University, Maria Hinfelaar said: “We’re delighted that this fantastic new facility has officially opened and look forward to our students beginning to use the space.
“Colliers Park is part of our Campus 2025 strategy to significant invest in all areas of our campuses and facilities, putting students at the heart of everything we do and contributing to our local community.”
Football Association of Wales CEO, Jonathan Ford said, “The FAW was founded in Wrexham in 1876 and it is fantastic to see the new National Football development centre based in an area of Wales with an important and rich football history and to celebrate this with our project partners here today.
“We look forward to Colliers Park complementing the work at Dragon Park to help raise the standards of Welsh football and strengthen our player pathway, coaching, workforce and development opportunities”.
Wrexham Glyndwr University students from the Sports Science and Sports Coaching degree programmes will be utilising the new facilities at the National Football Development Centre.