St. George’s Park Helps Prepare Teams Across Europe
With the 2022/23 season well underway, the home of English football offered a record number of teams, both domestic and from across the continent, its best-in-class facilities in preparation for a season which is set to be unlike any other.
Throughout what has been St. George’s Park’s biggest pre-season to date in its tenth year since opening, the home of English football successfully and proudly hosted a record 10 teams from the lower levels of the football pyramid through to the elite.
UEFA Champions League outfit Benfica, Hertha Berlin, Real Betis and 2021/22 Ligue 1 runners up Olympique Marseille were among the teams who travelled from overseas, while Reading, Wycombe Wanderers, Huddersfield Town, Grantham Town and Burton Albion also made use of the home of English football’s elite grounds.
As well as the elite pitches, the teams used the full breadth of the Staffordshire base’s facilities including the hydrotherapy suite, strength and conditioning gym and cryotherapy chamber which provided opportunity for teams competing in elite European competitions, as well as top flight domestic leagues through to Level 7 in the English football pyramid, to regain fitness and prepare for the demanding competitive football that will play out this season domestically and in other competitions.
With the site celebrating 10 years since opening, its vastly experienced team have gained a complete understanding of the needs of elite sport, providing bespoke training camps to suit the requirements of each team.
While this season is still in its infancy, four teams have already expressed firm interest in utilising the state-of-the-art performance and recovery facilities, with St. George’s Park proving to be the venue of choice for managers looking to integrate new players to their squads and imprint their football philosophy.
St. George’s Park has the unique ability to host several teams at any one time, while also maintaining a bespoke offering for each. The pitches, which are exact replicas of the hallowed Wembley turf, have held ‘in-house’ games which have given teams from different countries and leagues the chance to test themselves against each other.
The quiet, secure 300-acre site has also hosted Barcelona, Ajax, Crystal Palace, Brentford, England Cricket and England Rugby Union in recent years.
Gareth Ainsworth, Manager of Wycombe Wanderers, said: “What a facility St. George’s Park is. The standard of pitches and the standard of people is fantastic. The all-round package here is fantastic for football clubs, it’s the home of English football and there’s no better place to be for pre-season.”
Benjamin Kugel, Strength and Conditioning Coach of Benfica, added: “It’s great to have everything so close to each other and all in one place, the pitch is walking distance from the hotel, we have a great gym and incredible regeneration facilities like the plunge pool.
“St. George’s Park is a very nice working environment with high-quality pitches and as a physical trainer it’s great to have such a huge gym where you can work with a big group of players.”