Uni site back as training option for Pompey
The University of Portsmouth has re-emerged as a training ground option for Pompey.
But it may be too late, with the Blues also weighing up HMS Collingwood and Eastney Barracks ahead of next week’s exit from the Wellington Sports Ground.
The university dashed Guy Whittingham’s hopes of relocating to their Langstone Campus following a meeting earlier this month.
They were concerned over dealing with a football club still in administration. However, stinging criticism from some fans and the generosity of other venues in the city has prompted a rethink.
In addition, Portsmouth City Council are understood to have been unhappy with the university’s attitude. The U-turn has provided Whittingham with a surprise boost as he seeks to finalise a new training home.
Pompey must leave Eastleigh on Thursday – their base for more than 10 years. They have already begun the process, with the vast majority of the Wellington Sports Ground equipment moved to Fratton Park.
Pompey’s home stadium will provide changing facilities, while the gym and analysts’ room will also be relocated there. However, training pitches remain an issue, with Whittingham desperate to use surfaces other than Fratton Park.
There have been no shortage of offers across the area as the community seeks to help the club.
HMS Collingwood, in Fareham, comes highly regarded and is an option certainly favoured by Pompey.
The venue is unrecognisable from when the club left it in 2002 to move to Eastleigh, following extensive work.
Another consideration is Eastney Barracks, nowadays known as the Cockleshell Community Sports Club.
It is closed to the general public, although is used by Meon Milton FC and Mayville High School.
Eastney is also a former training base of Pompey’s. Finally, the university’s Furze Lane facilities, based in Milton, have long been seen as the training ground answer.
A potential move there was brought forward to this month after a decision by administrators PKF to serve notice on the Wellington Sports Ground.
In doing so, Pompey stand to save £223,000 on annual rent, plus a number of staff employed there.