ACCRINGTON Stanley have taken steps to end their long-awaited search for a training ground after submitting a planning application for a site.

Proposals have been submitted to Ribble Valley Council for a training ground facility at Cockwood, behind Read Garden Centre.

The site is already belongs to Stanley owner Andy Holt and plans have been drawn up which feature two football pitches and a changing facility.

Mr Holt said the club had been looking far and wide for an appropriate site and hopes a training ground will help the club grow.

He said: “It has been a long drag.

“It would be somewhere we can build.

“We struggle to bring the kids on, there is nowhere for them to play. This would be somewhere they can grow.

“It’s essential that, if we are to take Accrington Stanley forward, the club has a training ground.

“We feel it is something that is holding us back at the moment although we keep defying the odds on the pitch.”

The club, managed by John Coleman, play home games at the Wham Stadium and are currently fourth in League Two, one place outside the automatic promotion places.

Initially plans are for two football pitches but there is space is at the site to potentially expand to five pitches.

Currently the club are do not have a training ground and are forced to train on their first team pitch or on plastic pitches, such as at Hyndburn Leisure.

However Mr Holt said a lot of players do not like playing on the plastic pitches.

Money for the potential training facility could alter dependant on the club’s performance and could be boosted by cup runs or promotions.

However, the Stanley owner urged caution.

Mr Holt said: “First of all it is far from far certain, we have just submitted plans.

“It’s not going to be massive, Accrington Stanley have to keep within their means.

“It’s not going to be anything like Manchester City’s training ground, or the Blackburn Rovers one at Brockhall.

“It would be just a small thing, a couple of pitches and a changing room.

“We have looked all over for land suitable for a training centre.”

“It preferably would have been in Accrington, but as that as not been possible, we have looked far and wide.”

A decision will be made on the plans by the Ribble Valley Council planning committee in the coming months.