West Brom under-21s put through their paces in Bath
West Bromwich Albion’s young footballers fine-tuned their preparations for the new Barclays Under-21 Premier League at a three-day team-building camp at the University of Bath.
The under-21 squad stayed and ate on campus and trained in the £30 million Sports Training Village during the visit. They rounded off the camp with a friendly fixture against the Southampton Academy (Bath), which is based at the University.
David Oldfield, West Brom’s Senior Professional Development Coach, who headed up the visit, said: “We had a good trip, we’ve really enjoyed it. It was good to get away to a different environment.
“Everyone here looked after us well and has been very helpful, and we’ve enjoyed the facilities very much,” added Oldfield, a former pro with Manchester City, Leicester and Stoke.
The West Brom squad used the Team Bath Gym, the athletics track, hydro pool and ice bath, and of course, the football pitches during the pre-season camp.
They ran out 3-2 winners over the Southampton Academy team – a game in which the Baggies fielded one player less than Southampton to take account of age differences between the sides.
West Brom get their Barclays Under-21 Premier League campaign underway with a behind closed doors game at home to Blackburn Rovers.
West Brom are the latest top club to bring a squad to train at the University of Bath. They follow in the footsteps of Coventry City, Nottingham Forest, Preston North End and Sunderland first teams, who have all held training camps at the University.
England, New Zealand and South Africa rugby union teams have also trained at the University’s Claverton campus, as have the Great Britain rugby league squad and the Australia, England and New Zealand netball teams.
The University of Bath also hosted teams in the lead-up to London 2012, including swimmers from China, Denmark and Libya, track and field athletes from Russia and St Vincent & the Grenadines, and judo players from Barbados and Nauru. The University also hosted the main Paralympics GB preparation camps in the lead-up to London 2012.