Hartlepool United confirm new training facility agreement in Durham

Hartlepool United have reached an agreement with Houghall College to secure an additional training facility alongside their Maiden Castle base.
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After a series of negotiations Hartlepool have recently reached an agreement with Houghall College to utilise their facilities as an additional training base with John Askey’s side provided access to extra training pitches.

Hartlepool have been based out of Durham University complex Maiden Castle since the 2020-21 campaign after being without a permanent base fora period of time.

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Hartlepool have been able to take advantage of the £35million state-of-the art facilities in Durham which includes gym spaces, meeting and analysis rooms and several 3G training pitches, with both the first team and academy able to integrate.

Hartlepool United have trained out of Durham University's Maiden Castle complex since the 2020-21 campaign.Hartlepool United have trained out of Durham University's Maiden Castle complex since the 2020-21 campaign.
Hartlepool United have trained out of Durham University's Maiden Castle complex since the 2020-21 campaign.

And yet one of the biggest concerns for the club within that time has been the use of grass pitches to train on in order to reduce injuries.

Upon Askey’s arrival in February the Hartlepool boss had his side completing their match preparation on the pitch at Victoria Park towards the end of last season, with previous manager Graeme Lee having also spoken of the desire to seek extra facilities with grass pitches when speaking recently on the Switch of Play podcast.

And having held talks over adding to their training facilities in the summer with previous sporting director Darren Kelly, Hartlepool have now confirmed they have reached an agreement with Houghall College, which sits immediately next to their Maiden Castle facility, with both the first team and the academy to continue using Maiden Castle as their permanent training base – with the club keen to extend their stay in the city.

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Having confirmed the agreement, head of football operations Joe Monks commented: “I’ve seen lots of training grounds at both National League and EFL level and I feel very comfortable that through our partnership with Durham University, the facilities at Maiden Castle ensure our training ground is in line with some of the best set-ups in League One and Two.

"Having Maiden Castle as a base for the players is excellent and we have been speaking with the University about longer term plans.

“Since the club moved to Maiden Castle in 2021 we have had access to the full site, including the grass and astroturf pitches at the venue. However, we have now been able to add an additional agreement with Houghall College that is right next to our University training base.

"Houghall College has some excellent pitch-based facilities linked to their horticultural and land management expertise. Ultimately, it means that our teams have more grass options and the ability to spread training load across pitches, which becomes particularly beneficial when reaching winter months and trying to get optimum sessions.

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“The relationship with the University is part of a longer term plan and I know additional pitch capacity is something that Lee Rust and Rose Stoker have been working on as a next step within that. We are all delighted to get this over the line and we are looking forward to working with Houghall College. Alongside the relationship with the University, it will give the club a fantastic training backdrop moving forward.”

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