A dream inspired by a famous Emirates FA Cup run will soon come true for Lincoln City, as the club offered the first glimpse inside their upcoming state-of-the art new £1.3m elite performance centre.
Six-hundred and six days since their giantkilling heroics of 2016-17 were brought to an end by Arsenal, the legacy of that run was revealed at the site of a new training facility set to offer huge opportunities for current and future generations.
The elite performance centre, where the Imps’ first team will eventually train, was directly funded by the Emirates FA Cup prize money earned across that historic campaign which captured the attention of the nation two seasons ago.
The then National League side knocked out Ipswich Town, Brighton & Hove Albion and Burnley en-route to the quarter final, before they were defeated by the eventual winners.
“This is a huge moment for Lincoln City Football Club,” said manager Danny Cowley, “and I can’t wait to get stuck into training here with the squad.
“I still reflect on our 2016-17 Emirates FA Cup run with a lot of pride, and this brings back a lot of those feelings.
“This new facility is going to be a fantastic legacy to that achievement, but most importantly it will play a big role in nurturing the future talent of this club.”
A first look inside the facility was provided by Cowley, his brother Nicky and Lincoln City CEO Liam Scully, who escorted Andy Ambler, The FA’s director of professional game relations, on a tour of the new 12.3 acre site.
The development, set to be fully operational before the end of month, includes three grass pitches, a fully equipped gym, changing rooms and new staff offices. As well as the 400m² main building, the training ground will feature two specialist TV towers that will enable the club’s technical staff to film and analyse training and matches in real time.
Also included is an innovative sprinkler system, boasting 55 water sprinklers that can be activated remotely from anywhere in the world, and an additional new groundcare building to protect the ground staff’s equipment.
Ambler said: “It is terrific to see that the £1.3m earned from their Emirates FA Cup run has been used in such a way, creating a true legacy, the benefits of which will be felt for generations to come at this forward-thinking club.
“This facility is a prime example of just how impactful prize money can be, which is why we were so delighted to double Emirates FA Cup prize fund this season.
This will deliver increased support for clubs at all levels of English football.”
Lincoln will entertain League Two rivals Northampton Town at Sincil Bank in the Emirates FA Cup first round on Saturday with the winning club picking up £36,000 from The FA prize fund.