New training ground could give Dons the edge in signing players

Paul Tisdale
Paul Tisdale

Paul Tisdale believes Dons' new training facility, due to be built at the National Bowl, will help when it comes to convincing players to sign for the club.

It was revealed this morning the club's plans to buy the Bowl and begin planning for a new training ground on the site near Furzton.

Though renovations to the pitches at Woughton have helped the team, Tisdale says if the club have aspirations to compete at a higher level, a state-of-the-art training ground will be key in convincing players to make the move to Milton Keynes.

"It all helps," he said. "In terms of recruitment, it's about choosing the most important factor to the player. But so far, we've not been able to use it as a factor.

"We have plenty of positives to spin, tours around the stadium but the training ground hasn't been a selling point. It will be in the future.

"Should the club progress, it will become more of a factor. When you're looking at the other clubs you're competing with, then the training ground becomes a necessity to compete. We're not complaining at the moment, but should the club go forward, it's a big factor."

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Having visited the Bowl, Tisdale said he is eager to see what can be done, and highlighted the importance of a facility outside of Stadium MK where they can operate.

He said: "For us, working in football, it's the missing piece here and we're looking forward to getting it solved.

"Firstly, it's a purpose-built ground that the club can call it's own, but secondly, it's the venue. It's tantalising thinking about what can be achieved at that venue. I know it has been a topic here for a long time, and it was a topic of conversation when I arrived. It's wonderful news, Peter is delighted, but there is still a lot to do. It will be a fabulous training ground.

"Most people on the outside will think of the club and think of the stadium. But for us, our 9-5 is at the training ground. In terms of our hours spent, more of them will be at the training ground, in the lecture theatres, gyms, medical rooms, canteen, kit room, laundry! We will be there far more than we are at the stadium.

"But what a combination to have – this stadium and a training ground that is at a level to match this."