Aberdeen legend Neil Simpson backs new Kingsford Stadium plans

The Kingsford stadium saga opened another chapter as plans for the new stadium were put on hold on Thursday when the club wanted more time to discuss the plans for the new stadium with planners.

The proposed £50 million stadium development was set to get the go ahead on Wednesday but the decision on the new 20,000 seater stadium complex will now take place at a later date with Dons officials seeking more time to look over the plans. The postponement comes after Aberdeen city planners did not make an announcement on their recommendation for the proposal on Tuesday.

The complex is set to become the new long-term home of the Dons with training facilities, and academy and a sports hub. Situated to the west of the city near the Westhill area of the city.

Aberdeen legend Neil Simpson stressed the importance of being able to own training facilities in order to be able to compete in an interview:

“We’ve got frustrating things in our department as well as the first team in terms of facilities. You know there is the new project brave initiative and we want to be part of the elite group and while there is a great chance we will but our facilities at the moment are causing great difficulties.”

As previously stated, Aberdeen do not own their training facilities and are sometimes forced to share the same pitch.

“We are usually at Balgownie during the summer months and while they are first class pitches they still aren’t our own. Then we are at the sports village during the 6 winter months, which is brilliant as not many teams can say they are training indoors during the winter.

The problem we have is that we have 11 a-side teams training on a third of a pitch sometimes even a quarter. In terms of developing players and doing things you need for 11 a-side football.”

With on occasions having to train with less than half a pitch, it is harder for youth players to develop in such a soft space. For a team like Aberdeen competing at the top end of the table, to have the worst training facilities in the league is something that could halt the clubs progress to challenging for future years to come.

“It is difficult to develop the best player we can with these facilities and we think these new facilities are necessary. There is just so much more we can do to make our youth department 100 times better than it currently is. I think if we get these facilities then we will be up there with the best in Scotland alongside Celtic and Rangers really. I just hope it happens.”

As of last month, the club released a statement stating that the club are half way there to the £10 million in funding that they need to build the new Kingsford complex. The postponement gives Aberdeen the time they need to iron out concerns with the council and the planners so the club can come to a suitable agreement with the council.

Listen to the interview on UWS Radio here:

Andrew Scott

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