Grayson’s training hope

PNE boss Simon Grayson at the Springfields training ground
PNE boss Simon Grayson at the Springfields training ground
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Preston boss Simon Grayson is keeping his fingers crossed that the club’s plans for a new training ground are given the green light.

Tomorrow, councillors will vote on North End’s proposal to build the state-of-the-art complex at Ingol Golf Club.

In their report, planning officers have recommended the scheme be approved but the final decision rests with councillors.

PNE regard the building of a new training ground as key to their plans of getting into the Premier League.

They are just one of five clubs in the Championship who have not played in the top flight in its current guise.

Grayson said: “We are just waiting for the final decision and hopefully the outcome will be in the club’s favour.

“The facilities which the new training ground would 
offer are at another level to what we have at Springfields.

“Players spend 10 months of the year at the training ground, it is their place of work during the week.

“It is where the hard work and preparation is put in and we want the best environment for them.

“The owner has shown a lot of ambition to develop and pay for this new facility.”

If the decision goes North End’s way, they would look to start work quickly.

They want it to be in use this time next year and for that to happen they need to start preparing the pitches and bedding them in.

The land they are looking to build on is owned by North End owner Trevor Hemmings, with the planning application also involving 450 houses.

The training ground would be built first, with housing at a later stage.

It is estimated that since taking ownership of PNE in 2010, Hemmings has put £70m into the club.

The ambition is to make a push for the Premier League, with the new training ground seen as a vital.

A fortnight tomorrow, PNE report back for pre-season training at Springfields, their base since the late 1990s.

Grayson will be in 
decent shape to oversee 
training having completed the Football to Amsterdam charity bike ride at the weekend.

This afternoon, he was joining Jeff Stelling for a leg of the Soccer Saturday presenter’s marathon walk from 
Exeter to Newcastle.

Said Grayson: “I enjoyed the bike ride, it didn’t feel as hard as when I did it in 2015.

“The weather was good and I got through it fine apart from when I fell off and toppled 
into a couple of mates who were riding with me!

“I’m told that £460,000 or £470,000 has already been raised for Prostate Cancer UK from everyone who took part in the ride to Amsterdam.

“It would be great if that could climb to £500,000.”