The Chronicle has conducted a very informative and long interview with manager Rafa Benitez, as they ask various questions about the status of things in different areas.
We are now in the second division but of course in the big overall plan of things it’s for one season only and we simply must be promoted next May.
The club financially can easily afford to stay down one season down below but not two.
Rafa has been asked about changes being made to the training grounds at Benton, as this was one big area he identified when he first arrived in March as needing improvements made.
Rafa Benitez – overseeing changes at Benton
Here is the Question and Answer as provided by the Chronicle:
What plans do you have to improve the training ground, as well as the Academy, at the club? And how are those plans developing? What’s the timeframe for those?
Rafa Benitez Answer:
“We have already started on a lot of improvements to the training ground.”
“The purpose with everything we are doing there is to improve the environment that the players train in and the equipment and the facilities that they use so they are able to perform to their optimum level.”
“We had to consider not to disturb the preparation of the team and at the same time to improve the facilities.” “So, we are renovating the inside structure of the building, creating new spaces for working and for relaxing.”
“We will have double sessions on some days, so it is important that the players have spaces to relax and refresh and also to build the team spirit together.”
“We have already improved the gym, bringing in new and better equipment which will be a big improvement.”
“We will also be resurfacing the artificial pitch inside the indoor facility. It will be a 4G surface which is much better for the players to train on, there is less impact on the body and less problems with injuries.”
“If our supporters play in their five-a-side teams perhaps, then they will know themselves the difference between a poor quality artificial pitch and a 4G pitch.”
“The indoor hall is a very good facility and we need to make sure that it has a top quality surface so that we can make use of it for training throughout the year, but especially when the weather is bad outside in the winter. That’s really important.”
“We are also putting a 4G pitch in at the Academy.”
“Another important change we are making is to bring in an administrator to work with the players and their families.”
“This will be someone who speaks English, French, Spanish, to help players settle at the club and in the city and be sure that they are able to focus 100% on the football.”
We knew Rafa doesn’t mess around and those are some excellent improvements being made and quickly too.
Wonder what the status is of the new world-class facilities we were promised back in November of 2013 when Joe Kinnear was the Director of Football?
We assume these are immediate improvements for next season and the general plan is still to improve the facilities completely at some point in the future.
The plans laid out included a swimming pool in the complex.
Maybe the old surface on the indoor training facility could have been responsible for some of the injuries Newcastle players keep picking up in training?
It’s good to hear about all of these improvements because it does seem there are lots and lots of things going on at the club and the fans need to be kept updated.
It all sounds very good to us.