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Is it the end of the road for Lennoxtown?

Images uncovered today from a Miller Holmes publication show very impressive plans for a redeveloped Barrowfield Training Complex.

Since purchase in 1959 Barrowfield has provided a very handy training centre for generations of Celtic players but over the last 25 years been wrongly branded in a detrimental way.

With dedicated training facilities from the continent now commonplace in the UK it seemed that from the nineties onwards Celtic tried to keep details of their training facilities quite from continental signing targets.

Fronted by the Celtic Supporters Association Social Club in a mixed area shared between industrial estates and council housing it didn’t scrub up well compared with the rural complexes English clubs have created.

With access easy from the Social Club there were tales of local motorbike enthusiasts churning up the precious training turf in mid-season.

The reality was that with minimal investment, improved changing facilities and added security Celtic had a great area and training complex on their doorstep.

Now it seems that the potential of the site is going to be properly used. The grass pitches have all been carefully maintained, there is a stillness by the side of the River Clyde (and allotments) and it is within two miles of Glasgow city centre, well served by buses and certainly easier to locate than Lennoxtown where the access road requires a 4×4 vehicle simply to cope with the turbulence.

Providing the first team with a year round indoor training facility, a full sized pitch not a Games Hall is central, anything else is selling the manager short. Lennoxtown has very limited indoor facilities that seem to have been converted into an impressive fitness and conditioning area in recent times.

Should the Barrowfield plans be converted into reality it would be difficult to see Lennoxtown surviving.

It’s main asset seems to be that it is remote, so remote that it is possibly the coldest area in the west of Scotland with a constant chill coming in from the Campsies, it looks great as a backdrop for pictures but beyond that it is far from ideal when players need additional warm up time and layers of training wear.

With at least four full sized pitches, one complete indoor pitch and all the associated fitness, strengthening and conditioning facilities it looks like Barrowfield could answer all questions and needs.

Everything boils down to costs but with record turnover expected and a second successive Champions League campaign on the horizon Celtic won’t have been in a better position to invest in facilities that will provide a guaranteed benefit and return every day of the year.

CLICK HERE for Holmes Miller publication on Barrowfield Complex.

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