Training Ground renovation update

As our latest slideshow of exclusive pictures show, redevelopment work at the Club's Chadwell Heath training ground continues to progress.

Following the installation of undersoil heating in the main pitch on the site, re-seeding has already begun and will be fully operational by the time Alan Pardew and his players return for pre-season training in early July.

Head groundsman Dougie Robertson reveals: "The two existing pitches are nearly completed - seeding on the main pitch (image 1) began earlier this week and hopefully we will begin cutting next week. It's just a case of hoping that the sun comes out regularly and getting plenty of water on it.

"We will start work on the new far pitch (image 2) next week, with regards to drainage, levelling out and putting the irrigation in, but that won't be ready for when the players return to training - a lot of work is going into that area to ensure that it is an absolutely perfect playing surface.

"Elsewhere, the artificial pitches are almost ready - the Reebok technical pen is just waiting for rubber and sand to be added to the field turf fibres (image 3), and the full size artificial pitch is currently being laid (image 4). The new fencing is all coming along and on schedule,

"The new viewing gallery attached to the main sports hall is almost finished (image 5) and the new cooling baths have arrived and are waiting to be installed once preparation in the dressing-room area is complete (image 6). The rest of the interior work, in the kitchen and dressing-rooms, is all coming on nicely."

Dougie also reveals that work on the pitch at Upton Park is also well underway, and will be ready in time for our curtain-raiser to the new Premiership campaign in mid-August.

"The stadium pitch is all going to plan - it is being seeded at the moment (image 7)," he says. "We had a few problems last week with heavy rain that made it too wet to work on - we'd taken off something like 36,000 gallons of water in the space of 13 hours.

"We've now caught up after that, though, and seeding and fertilising is done, so the machinery at Upton Park will now come to Chadwell Heath and it will simply be a case of growing and cutting the new surface at the stadium, with the plan for it to be completely ready for our friendly match against Olympiakos on August 12."