NEWCASTLE United will continue to monitor potential sites for a new state-of-the-art training ground, but the immediate focus is further improvement to the current bases, which have been transformed over the past couple of years.

Revamping the dated Darsley Park - home to Newcastle United's first team players - was identified as a major priority when the takeover was completed two years ago.

The complex at Benton has since been transformed, with the extensive renovation - at a cost of millions - including the addition of hydrotherapy and plunge pools, improved changing rooms, an updated presentation room, modern players' lounge and a new, bigger dining area.

The training base is now, says sporting director Dan Ashworth, "fit for Premier League players" - but the club continue to closely consider options and availability ahead of a possible move to a new complex in the future. For now, though, Ashworth says there's nothing in the pipeline.


Addressing fans at the first We Are United supporter event, held at St James' Park and online on Wednesday evening, Ashworth said: "We have three existing sites. We have a site where Becky (Langley) and her (women's) team train, we have an academy site and we have a men's first team site. The current ownership have put a lot of money into those sites, into developing them, changing the level and the standard, probably in particular of the men's first team site.

"We've spent millions and millions improving those and it needed it. It really did. Anything from the pitches to the medical facilities to the restaurant facilities, we now have facilities that are fit for full time Premier League and female players.

"That's been our main area of focus but one theme that has ran through tonight is looking to improve and progress in all areas. If we have the opportunity to acquire some land and a site that might be beneficial for the club and might help us move to the next level then of course we'll look at it. But that doesn't mean we definitely will.

"It's about looking for those areas of improvement and the main focus has been looking for those areas of improvement at our existing sites. I can't share anything, it's not that I won't, but we're not far enough down the line to discuss anything other than to say yes of course we will continue to look but we'll continue to look at improving our current sites as well."