Tomasz Zahorksi on Legia Warsaw’s new training centre
ESSMA interviewed Tomasz Zahorski, Proxy of the Management Board, about their new training centre project, the next phases and implemented benchmark elements.
Legia Warsaw’s new training centre will include 8 pitches, additional sports infrastructure, 9000 m2 building with dressing rooms, offices for the coaches, 24 rooms for the first team players (with 4* standards), 30 rooms for youth players, an R&D lab, etc.
Why was it necessary for Legia Warsaw to build a new training centre?
Legia Warsaw only has two additional training pitches next to the Marshall Jozef Piłsudski Legia Stadium. The stadium itself is a state of the art venue but in terms of training infrastructure, we are limited. That's why regarding our future development and expanding our youth academy - to make it one of the leading ones in Europe - a new training centre is a crucial investment.
Did you visit other training facilities? Which were the benchmarks for Legia Warsaw?
In total, our team visited over 30 training facilities all over Europe. During European matches, we used each occasion while playing against teams such as Real Madrid, Sporting Lissabon, Borussia Dortmund, AFC Ajax, etc. - which are leading in Europe - to visit their facilities. Furthermore, we visited a number of other training facilities across Europe. Both existing facilities as well as projects which are in a similar planning phase to exchange knowledge and ideas with European experts. It is always very useful, not only for us but also for other clubs. We have taking lots of concepts from other clubs but at the end of the day it’s still our project – from our architects and our team. Yet, we are very thankful for their openness, to have exchanged knowledge and received input from other European clubs. At Legia Warsaw, we are always open to host clubs and staff as this is part of our identity.
What are the next phases of the training centre project?
We want to finalise the tender process and sign the agreement with a construction company by July 2018. Construction should start in August 2018 and will take around 12-13 months. By September 2019 construction should be finished and we will have acquired the needed permit to use the facilities. As from October 2019, we will start relocating from the stadium to the training centre. Of course, we face the same challenge as many other clubs are facing - delays. Even though delays are part of the project, we are planning each step responsibly and I trust that the training centre will be delivered on time.
The Legia Warsaw training centre project is part of ESSMA's Stadium Development Report Issue 1 2018 and can be accessed on our Knowledge Platform.
A delegation of Legia Warsaw participated in ESSMA’s Training Facilities Tour. During the two-day tour, participants visited 5 venues in Belgium, France and England.