PARTICK THISTLE managing director Ian Maxwell hopes the club’s new £4million training facility can help fight Celtic and The Rangers and attract the best kids in Glasgow.
The Jags have entered into an agreement with Three Black Cats, a company set up by lottery winners and Thistle supporters the Weir family as a vehicle for long term investments, to build the new state-of-the-art facility.
Firhill supremo Maxwell has hailed the deal as a massive step forward for the club.
He said: “It’ll be huge for the academy, in terms of having the one training centre and knowing where we’re going, but also the amount of time that Gerry Britton and the coaches can spend with the kids will increase, because we don’t have to be off in an hour as there’s not another team coming on after us.
“So, we’ve got to sell it as best we can and if they can see the training platform and that progression through to the first team then it gives us that opportunity.
“If you look at the Premiership in a group of clubs that are all similar sizes, similar budgets and when there is a player out we are all going for the same one and it’s about how you sell yourself as a football club, from the style of play, management, the players in the squad.
“But something like this, to be able to take a prospective signing out to our training facility, show them round, show them what they’re getting rather than saying: ‘We train here this day and if it’s raining we train there’.
“So, it’ll be incredible from that point of view.”
The location for the centre has yet to be decided, and a date for the complex opening has still to be set, with Maxwell’s research and preparation for the venture now about to get into full swing.
He said: “We’ve got ideas. There’s land all over Glasgow and I’d imagine that the phone will start ringing now with people who have a bit of land we can use for it.
“Lennoxtown is nowhere near Celtic Park and Murray Park is nowhere near Ibrox, so they don’t need to be linked.
“Obviously, it would be somewhere near the Glasgow area, but we’ve not really got our heart set on anywhere. We’re at the start of the process.
“In terms of timescale, as quickly as we possibly can. If we can get it up within a couple of years, that would be brilliant.”