New Training Ground on track

  • West Ham United's first-team squad to move into a new training ground at Rush Green
  • ?Head Groundsman Dougie Robertson says Hammers will benefit from a number of key changes
  • Slaven Bilic and his staff will set up their headquarters at Rush Green at the end of July

The West Ham United first-team players and staff can expect a major transformation when they return to England at the end of July as they prepare for a big move into their new Training Ground.

Slaven Bilic, his backroom team and squad will be making the short switch from Chadwell Heath to Rush Green on a permanent basis when they arrive back in England following next week's UEFA Europa League third qualifying round first leg tie.

The Rush Green site was previously used by the Club's Academy, but with the team making a historic move into the new London Stadium, the Hammers' Board is determined to improve the facilities across all areas.

Head Groundsman Dougie Robertson has been helping to oversee the major refurb during the summer and says the players can expect a big change when they arrive at their new training base.

Robertson said: “The changes are huge. I was fortunate enough to walk through the building a few days ago and have seen the finishes.

“The facilities that are now available really brings us into the big league and that is where the Club wants to be. The Club has done a fantastic job getting the players what they require and hopefully they can do the same in the league.

“Everyone sees the players on a matchday but they spend the a lot of their time at the training ground and that is where the team bonding really grows.

“We are incredibly fortunate that we will have three different kind of pitches for the players to train on.

“We will have the old traditional fibre sand, the Desso pitches which we had at Upton Park and now the new Stadium and a new product called AirFibr which we are trialling in the rehab area and a specialist product which is proven to be softer for players coming back from injury.

“The team are very approachable about all the changes and we don't envisage any major problems. The players probably need to bring a map on their first day back as it will be different to what they are used to!

“A lot of thanks has to go to [Relocation Project Director] Stewart Pegge, [Operations Director] Ben Illingworth, [Head of Medical and Sports Science] Stijn Vandenbroucke and Slaven for helping us get the project along and give us a facility that the Club deserves.”