New LFC training complex ‘a wonderful thing for Knowsley’

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Liverpool are leaving Melwood for Kirkby / Pic Rodhullandemu (CC) wikicommons

Knowsley will be at the centre of Merseyside’s footballing success with Liverpool set to move to their new training complex in Kirkby in November.

Everton have been based at Finch Farm in Halewood since 2007 and now The Reds’ first team will switch to the AXA Training Centre after over 70 years at Melwood in West Derby.

Northwood councillor Edward Connor has welcomed the move as a boost for Knowsley. He told JMU Journalism: “I think it’s a wonderful thing.

“Liverpool and Everton both have their training camps in Knowsley now. I think that really shows the importance Knowsley has in Merseyside.”

Liverpool FC announced this week that multinational insurance firm AXA will continue their contract as the club’s principal training sponsor in a deal that includes naming rights for the new training centre.

Liverpool manager Jurgen Klopp has been keen to unite the senior squad with the Kirkby based Academy players since he joined the club in 2015. Two years later club owners Fenway Sports Group back the German’s vision giving the green-light for the new training ground.

The £50m state-of-the-art complex is set to be the training ground for both the first team and the Reds U 23’s squad, spreading over 9,200sqm with three full sized pitches, two gyms, goalkeeping and warm up areas and a hydrotherapy complex for the players.

An atrium dedicated to LFC’s history is at the centre of the new training grounds, which includes an image of local player Trent Alexander-Arnold holding the Champions League trophy.

Some Liverpool fans will be sad to leave Melwood / Pic: Google Maps

The AXA Training Centre was originally set to open before the start of the 20/21 Premier League season, but complications due to Covid-19 meant that the initial opening date was postponed.

The Melwood training ground was sold in 2019 for an undiscolsed fee to affordable housing provider and non-profit trust Torus.

As the most successful club in England, the Merseyside team have fared well training at their Melwood home. Some fans are emotional at the end of an era.

Paul (@Paul19RedTitles on twitter) said:“End of a totally illustrious era!! Very sad the reds are leaving the site where the foundation of our incredible club were laid.”

Owen Quayle (@owenquayle1997 on twitter) said: “We’ll never see another melwood lean, it’s quite emotional to be honest”

About Alex Usher, JMU Journalism