The Manchester City Women’s team have officially submitted a planning application for a brand new purpose-built training ground to be built as part of the wider City Football Academy (CFA).
Set to join the other state-of-the-art training facilities over on the Etihad Campus and said to be valued at around £10 million, the creation of the standalone facility will house the women’s first team, who currently share a building with the academy teams at the club.
While Man City Women do currently have their own pitches, the plans look to bring further parity across male and female football at the club, as well as freeing up more space for the youth teams at the existing CFA in the process.
Should the planning application be approved, the new City Women’s training ground will open in 2025 and will feature a hydrotherapy area, a high-performance gym and an analytics space — all designed to enhance player development by mirroring the elite athletic environment of the men’s first team.
During the planning stages, the club have been working closely with first-team and multi-disciplinary experts to ensure the facility best meets the specific needs of the players. The 17,000-square-foot building has also been designed to be ultimately expanded over time as the team continues to grow.
As a press release goes on to detail, “As well as benefitting from a private facility, the team will continue to be a central part of the eco-system at the £200m City Football Academy meaning they can take advantage of the resources and know-how across the organisation’s wider operations and facilities.”
Commenting on the plans, City Women’s Managing Director Charlotte O’Neill said: “Over the past decade, our shared space at CFA has been a huge asset to the team, providing unrivalled access to world-leading facilities and industry experts who’ve helped the team to adopt the Club’s philosophies on and off the pitch and establish itself as a pioneer in the development of women’s football in this country.
“However, as the team evolves, so do their needs and that’s why we continue to invest in the right facilities at the right stage in the team’s journey.
“By building a new, state-of-the-art facility, we will provide our players with a bespoke industry-leading environment for them to train and recover together, and we believe this will further improve player welfare, and help attract even more talent to Man City and the next generation of aspiring women footballers.”
Club captain Steph Houghton also gave her thoughts on the exciting new development, adding: “I’ve been incredibly proud to call the CFA home for the past ten years and have seen first-hand how the integrated facilities we are a part of have contributed to the development of the women’s team…
“As we look to take the next step in our journey of developing the women’s game, it’s right that we now develop our own purpose-built home, at the heart of City Football Academy, and I’m thrilled the Club has the ambition and commitment to keep investing in our future.”
City has been at the forefront of investment in women’s football ever since the Women’s Super League started, having already opened the league’s first purpose-built training facility back in 2014 before the academy teams were moved into the same area.
Man United striker Rasmus Højlund set to miss Manchester derby as muscle injury rules him out for ‘two to three weeks’
Man United have suffered a pretty big short-term blow as their in-form forward Rasmus Højlund has been diagnosed with a muscle injury which is set to see him out for “two to three weeks”, meaning he will likely miss the upcoming Manchester derby.
The Danish striker has been running red-hot of late, scoring seven in his last six league games for Man United and now sitting as the club’s top marksman with 13 goals and two assists across all competitions, but just as Erik ten Hag’s side look to have got going, they will now be without him for a spell.
Issuing an update on Friday, 23 February, United confirmed that a muscle injury is “expected to rule him out for two to three weeks”, meaning he will miss this weekend’s fixture against Fulham, the FA Cup fifth round against Nottingham Forest and most likely the Manchester derby.
The Red Devils are currently unbeaten in 2024 and on a run of six wins out of their last seven, with Højlund making the difference in many of them.
ℹ️ Rasmus Hojlund has suffered a muscle injury which is expected to rule him out for two to three weeks.
He could potentially be back for the home game against Everton on 9 March.
Speaking in his pre-match press conference ahead of Saturday’s game at Old Trafford, ten Hag went on to explain: “It is a small injury. That is what happens and the risk [when you are] playing at high intensity and training.”
The Dutchman reiterated, “As I say it is not a big injury, but he has to wait for one, two, three weeks”, though Reds will nevertheless be gutted to see the 21-year-old sidelined after having now started finding the net and putting together such an impressive run of performances.
While he emphasised that it is not a “big injury”, the timing couldn’t be more frustrating for a team that looks to be finally gathering some momentum, not only in and around the European places already but right on the trail of those chasing down the Champions League spots.
Højlund’s injury only adds to the club’s ever-growing list of players on the physio’s bench, including Tyrell Malacia, Mason Mount, Lisandro Martinez and another huge setback in Luke Shaw’s long-term hamstring problems.
In contrast, Manchester City have been lofted by comebacks from both Erling Haaland, who is getting back on the scoresheet once again, and midfielder maestro Kevin De Bruyne as they look to step up the pressure on league leaders Liverpool.
The treble-winners were always going to be putting in a very strong title defence but the return of KDB has reminded football fans just exactly how good he is. The Belgian was left on the bench against Brentford due to “minor niggles” but you can fully expect him to be raring to go come derby day.
Stockport County create a new community mural with young street artists in Edgeley
Stockport County is creating a brand new mural with a group of young street artists from the local area and a little help from one of their squad members.
This past February half-term, the Greater Manchester football club enlisted the help of some schoolkids and aspiring artists, along with local creatives from around the area to create a brand new piece of artwork right in the heart of the community.
With some paint, plenty of spray cans and the expertise of Manc muralist and designer, Oskar With A K, and poet Ruth Awolola, a dozen local secondary school pupils helped write, design and paint the mural — taking inspiration directly from the club and the thriving fan culture in Stockport.
There is no chant more iconic and important to the Hatters than their famous ‘The Scarf My Father Worse’ song and that’s exactly what the local artists have decided to immortalise.
🖼️ A new County-themed mural is currently being created in Edgeley by a talented group of young street artists – with a little help from Ethan Pye!
The new Stockport County mural is being completed as we speak.
The painting process began on Friday, 16 February and, as you can see, they even managed to rope in County defender Ethan Pye came along to lend a hand with the mural, armed with a can of spray paint to help the young people bring their ideas to life.
Being developed by the Stockport County Community Trust in collaboration with North West organisations, GRIT Studios and The Writing Squad, ‘The Scarf My Father Wore’ project has received £14,800 from the UK Government through the UK Shared Prosperity Fund.
Popping in a prime location on the corner of Castle Street and Mercian Way — just metres away from the Edgeley Park stadium and right at the beginning of the local village high street — this vibrant work of art will be passed by thousands of commuters and pedestrians every day.
Being brought to life in brilliant blue and white in line with the club’s colour scheme and proudly printing the title of the famous chant on the wall along with stencils of the County crest, footballs and many other details, it sits pride of place in the Stockport suburb.
Ethan offering his services off the pitch too.You can’t miss it.Credit: Supplied
Much like the historic chant and the symbolic scarf itself, this brilliant piece of street art will be passed down and enjoyed by generations to come, as well as make sure the club continues to play a key role in local culture.
County’s Community Trust CEO Alison Warwood said: “This project shows how art and writing by young people can make a real difference to the local community, and I can’t wait to see the end result.”
John Macaulay from GRIT Studios added: “We’re thrilled to be involved in such a collaborative and community-spirited initiative. Our young artists will be helping to create a lasting landmark that will become a focal point in Edgeley for years to come.”
With the Hatters currently top of the League Two table and looking at yet another promotion season, there feels like no better time for fans to wear the club on their sleeve, their scarves around their necks and now up on the wall too.