Melwood Training Camp
Based in the West Derby area of Liverpool, Melwood is Liverpool’s training ground that has provided facilities and room for players to train since the early fifties. Previously belonging to a school, the training camp that is now known for its state of the art facilities, was once only a playing field that was used by school children and especially young boys who wanted to practice their football skills.
Looking back however, this is probably where it all started. Two priests who taught at the school, Father Melling and Father Woodcock, spent hours helping many of the boys improve their ability on a regular basis and, because of this, Melwood Training camp was born – the name ‘Melwood’ being chosen with respect in mind and as a combination of the two surnames. Despite being over sixty years old however, and still retaining much of its original charm, Melwood training camp has gone through many renovations and revamps to become of the most elite training grounds in English football and is also noted as boasting some of the finest facilities in Europe.
Bill Shankly played a large part in the development of the site when he was in charge; however, it was just after the Millennium that the biggest transformation took place with then manager Gerard Houllier having a big influence on how the site would look. The complex upgraded with work commencing on the Millennium Pavilion – this added another ultra modern aspect to the ground and was a great base for players and coaches alike. As well as looking the part however, the new pavilion would house everything that was required for the players without the need for them to go anywhere else.
As it stands, the complex includes facilities such as; synthetic pitches, rehabilitation rooms, a gymnasium and swimming pool, a restaurant and recreational facilities as well as press and meeting rooms. Despite many clubs not encouraging spectators to come and watch players train, Melwood also has a covered area for visitors who want to see the players put through their paces – although this is very rarely used.