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Manchester City have submitted a planning application for a brand-new training facility for their women's team, who currently occupy second place in the Women's Super League.
The women's team, who despite having their own pitches, currently share the vast majority of their facilities with the academy teams at the club. This proposed development, however, will see the side join the men's team in having their own private area at the Etihad Campus.
Speaking via a club statement, managing director of Manchester City Women, Charlotte O'Neill, said: “Over the past decade, our shared space at City Football Academy has been a huge asset to the team, providing unrivalled access to world-leading facilities and industry experts that have helped the team to adopt the Club’s philosophies on and off the pitch”, but admitted that as the team grows, so too does their needs.
O'Neill went on to explain that the club hope the new facilities will “further improve player welfare, and help attract even more talent to Manchester City and the next generation of aspiring women footballers.”
While captain Steph Houghton was also keen to praise the club's “ambition and commitment to keep investing in our future.”
Man City Submit plans for new £10m training facilities for women's team
A brand-new stand-alone facility will be located within Manchester City's training centre, known as the City Football Academy, and will cost the club approximately £10 million to construct.
The building will occupy 17,000 square feet and as long as there are no issues with the council regarding the submitted plans, will be opened in 2025.
With a purpose-built facility, the design not only has further expansion in mind but also includes “state-of-the-art” technology that will mirror the facilities currently being used by the club's treble-winning men's team.
That technology will see Houghton and co. gain access to a hydrotherapy area, a high-performance gym and an analytics space, with those in charge at the club hoping this results in drastic improvements in player development.
Plans will ensure that the women's team remain an integral part of the Etihad Campus, where their purpose-built stadium, separate from that of the men's team, helped push the women's game forward in 2023 when it became the first WSL ground to secure a sponsorship for its naming rights.
WSL continues to strive forward
Man City are arguably the biggest catalyst in driving the development of the women's game in England, with the club's proposed plans for its new training facilities coming after the club constructed the first and biggest purpose-built stadium in the WSL.
However, they are not the only club currently focusing on developing their women's teams. Liverpool previously announced in June 2023 that they had re-purchased their former training ground, Melwood, to create an “elite” facility for their women's team. While their fierce rivals, Manchester United, unveiled a brand-new facility for its women's team at the club's Carrington Training Centre in October 2023.
The fact that so many of England's top sides are focusing so heavily on developing the facilities available for their women's teams can only be positive, and will hopefully lead to an even faster expansion of the women's game in this country.