Melwood

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Melwood is home to Liverpool's training ground.

Melwood, in West Derby, Liverpool, is home to Liverpool Football Club's training ground. It is not attached to The Academy, which is in Kirkby.

The ground previously belonged to St Francis Xavier, a local school.[1] The area was used as a playing field for the school and Father Melling and Father Woodlock who taught at the school spent hours helping the young boys play football. As a way of remembering the two priests' hard work the ground was named using the first syllables of their surnames.[2][3]

History[edit]

Melwood was in a terrible state in 1959, and was transformed into a top class training facility by Bill Shankly. He introduced the five-a-side games that defined his "pass and move, keep it simple", philosophy. Players would meet and change for training at Anfield and then board the team bus for the short trip to Melwood. After training, they would get the bus back to Anfield to shower and change and get a bite to eat. Shankly thus ensured all his players had warmed down correctly and he would keep his players free from injury. Indeed, in the 1965–66 season, Liverpool finished as champions using just 14 players and two of those only played a handful of games.[4]

In January 2001 Liverpool started work on the Millennium Pavilion, a modern facility for players and coaches, designed in part and heavily influenced by then manager Gérard Houllier. There is a small covered area for invited spectators. Training starts early in the morning with players arriving around 9 a.m. The players go through a morning session and are also required to turn in an evening session.

Redevelopment[edit]

In 1998, youth and development teams had been moved to a new 56 acre integrated training facility at The Academy in Kirkby.

Due to size constraints of the site and obvious secrecy issues associated with Melwood, in 2017 LFC revealed a plan of a proposed redevelopment of the Kirkby centre at a cost of £50 million, allowing the first team to move training to the expanded facility. The approved plan will incorporate the first team and the academy at Kirkby, allowing the redevelopment of Melwood into housing. The Kirbkby plan is expected to be completed before the 2019-20 season,[5] allowing subsequent redevelopment of Melwood from summer 2020 onwards into 160 homes, mixed between detached and semi-detached properties, with an enclosed community amenity space.[6]

References[edit]

External links[edit]

Coordinates: 53°25′54″N 2°53′55″W / 53.431734°N 2.898588°W / 53.431734; -2.898588