This summer has seen England host the women’s UEFA Euro 2022 Tournament with the North West region hosting and facilitating many teams and matches.
Throughout the group stages of the tournament, Accrington Stanley Community Trust’s Stanley Sports Hub facility, has been the official training ground for the Italian national women’s team.
After months of consultations with UEFA, The FA & The Italian Football Federation our ground staff managed to get the pitches into excellent condition and fit for an international football team. UEFA rated the pitch 4* which we are all extremely proud of.
Site Maintenance Manager at Stanley Sports Hub, Matthew Fearon said, ‘‘After a lot of early mornings and late nights to bring the pitches up to standard, it was great to hear the positive feedback from the Italian Football Federation and from the players themselves’’.
As well as the pitches, the training rooms and classrooms at Stanley Sports Hub were also converted into areas used for Physiotherapy, strength & conditioning, media and even ice baths! The site was made safe and monitored by external security teams and we hosted media teams from around Europe.
Martin Fearon, CEO of Accrington Stanley Community Trust commented, ‘‘This was a fantastic experience for everybody involved with Accrington Stanley Community Trust. To host an international team for 2 weeks and receive such positive feedback is fantastic. There were months of planning that went into this and we are delighted to have played a part in this prestigious international tournament’’.
The Italian players were beginning to grow fond of English tea and Accrington Espressos as their post training drinks, mainly as they made efforts to warm up in the unfamiliar Hyndburn climate!
Accrington Stanley Community Trust received a call from UEFA stating that all the Italian players and staff members were extremely happy with the hospitality, facility and the effort from the Stanley Sports Hub staff to make them feel welcome in Accrington.
Whilst here, the Italian team very kindly took time out to meet local girls from Accrington Stanley Women FC, signing autographs and giving away gifts to hopefully inspire them to continue their football journey. We have made many friends along the way and wish the Italy team the best of luck in their upcoming World Cup qualifiers.