Mansfield Town’s exciting, long-awaited new training ground – the RH Academy - should be officially opened next month.
After so many delays and issues in the past, the Stags don’t want to put on any pressure on a timeline, but there was a partial handing over last week and Academy director Steve Hymas said there was light at the end of the tunnel at last for all concerned.
“Probably by the end of next week it will be all done and landscaped,” he said
“It will have a major benefit for everybody from the U7s to the U18s and the first team can come down here and get on some extra grass.
“It’s been a couple of years coming now, which every big project does. Some people got a bit frustrated because it wasn’t happening quickly enough.
“But any big project takes a lot of years in the planning – it’s been maybe three years in total.
“We are getting there now. We can see the light at the end of the tunnel.”
He added: “It is fantastic. It’s like a legacy – something to look back on in future years when I am old and decrepit and I can just come up here and watch some youth games.
“We want to move on to the next level as a club. We are in the fourth year of our youth set-up and we can start to produce our own players.”
The venue’s name – short for The Radford & Hymas Academy – honours Stags chairman John Radford and director Hymas, whose funds have made the project possible.
The duo’s company - Mansfield Town Developments – has supplied £1.5 million to the project, while the company also received a grant of £500,000 from the Premier League and FA Facilities Fund.
The state-of-the-art facility will boast a new full-sized and floodlit 3G pitch, built to FIFA standards, plus three-full sized grass pitches and a mini-pitch, which will make the facility a hive of activity at weekends.
The pavilion will consist of four dressing rooms, showers and associated physio rooms, as well as a function room on the ground floor, which will include kitchen facilities to allow the room to be used by the local community for functions.
On the first floor will be two classrooms and offices which will be used as an education hub.