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Day out at Finch Farm

By Andrew Steen :  08/04/2009 :  Comments (17) :

Finch Farm Day Trip, 7 April 2009

I was fortunate to be invited to tour Finch Farm and Goodison courtesy of Barclays. The day started at 11am at Everton?s Finch Farm Complex. First impressions were that the complex is impressive and the surroundings impressively managed. Sat in the reception was Yakubu who I believe was waiting to see Mick Rathbone and David Moyes.

We were then given the opportunity to watch members of the first team training on one of the first-team pitches. Most players had gone into the gym as we were informed that a few had bumps that needed looking after. James Vaughan and Castillo were practicing shooting at Carlo Nash. After watching first hand the power of JV?s shooting, I would say his surgeon has done a fantastic job. When JV left the pitch he was given the ball to practice some ?big kicks?.

On the opposite side of the pitch, Alan Stubbs was training reserve/youth team defenders. It was like watching Jags/Yob/Lescott et al, the drill was just like watching the first team defend from free-kicks/crosses. I was informed that all players are drilled in the Everton way of playing in case they are required. As I glanced behind me, I noticed Andy van der Meyde leaving training to go home, first out of training. All other players were in the gym.

The tour was very impressive but I thought I would highlight a few features of Finch Farm

  • 3 mile running track surrounding the complex for ? includes hills purpose built for running over
  • First team pitch used the day before matches that is an exact replica of Goodison
  • Astroturf pitch which is the same as the pitch Russia used. We walked on it and it felt like turf
  • Goakeeper training area
  • World Class Gym
  • Indoor Pitch
  • Multiple Academy pitches
  • Various Pro?Zone rooms / physio etc

David Moyes

At a question-and-answer session with David Moyes and Phil Neville, DM mentioned he was shown Finch Farm within one week of joining EFC and at the time is was a vast space. Walter Smith had wanted to redevelop Bellfield because LFC had done a good redevelopment job of their training ground. This was insufficient for DM.

Moyes has a big hand in designing Finch Farm. It is fair to say it his baby. It has his hallmark all over. The way the staff act and dress is professional, DM has an office overlooking the first team pitch and has access to watching all activities taking place at Finch Farm. DM sets the professionalism of the place and all staff work to this level.

A few questions were asked:

[Andrew's account of the Q&A with David Moyes has been removed at the request of the Club ? Editorial Team]

Questions to Phil Neville

Q: Have you had a friendly debate with your friends in Manchester following the tackle on Ronaldo?
A: Yes, I won the ball and it was a fair tackle. The Man Utd lads are ashamed of how they reacted, they also realise it cost them the points, Rio?s head went and it affected his game.

Both then stayed for pics and autographs. We then left for Goodison (around 1pm), most players were leaving. Osman was doing radio interviews, Yakubu was still sat in reception waiting watching Sky Sports News.

Then we left for Goodison, dinner in the Dixie Dean suite ? very nice; Tour of Goodison ? and we were told no pictures.

Overall it was a fantastic day and I cannot stress how good Finch Farm is. One down side is that it is very windy and does affect the ability of the players to play the ball in the air. This may explain why we are now able to pass the ball! David Moyes wants 300 Conifers to stop the wind. This has been declined by the council who wants the club to apply for planning permission.

Reader Comments

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Joe Jennings
1   Posted 08/04/2009 at 18:21:38

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A terrific insight, thanks for that Andrew.

Found myself chuckling at a few of DM’s answers. It’s going to be an interesting summer...
Paul Gladwell
2   Posted 08/04/2009 at 18:29:18

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How much did we pay for poor Lucas? Bit disrespectful to the lad, although surely he has told him this too.
Andrew Steen
3   Posted 08/04/2009 at 18:39:26

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Not sure why the highlights part has bits missing and keeps repeating parts.
Lee Penswick
4   Posted 08/04/2009 at 19:01:39

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Reading this reminded me of the time when I was first out after training, I left training to go home you see.

Denis Byrne
5   Posted 08/04/2009 at 19:42:36

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Really nice insight Andrew, clearly the euphoria and the ale had an effect when writing this... know the feeling... maybe Andy was rushing home to see his disabled daughter ? fair play. I?ve heard lots of comments by staff and insiders how hard he is training and how fit he looks. So will claim the digs as ?accidental? due to the formatting. But sounds like Moyes's ?vision? is coming along nicely, cheers Andrew
Jimmy Crack
6   Posted 08/04/2009 at 19:51:41

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Michael, Lyndon, come on!! How could you let this on the site looking like this? I want to hear about the goalkeeping training area, world class gym, etc. not about fucking vdm leaving training to go home, first out of training. All other players were in the gym.
Tony Rice
7   Posted 08/04/2009 at 20:31:02

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Anyone know who was first out of training ? :)
Andrew Steen
8   Posted 08/04/2009 at 21:25:38

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Still no idea why the "first out of training, All other team in the gym" is repeated.

One point I did miss out was a contraption that EFC use that is unique to our club. Located outdoors behind the indoor sports hall is a steel frame which contains a wide row of steps (approx 15ft high). There are 5 separate rows of steps each with a differing level of depth and height for the steps. At each side of the frame is a very steep track with an astroturf covering.

Apparently, when Everton first visited the USA for pre-season, the Fitness Coach saw the same steel training frame used by one of the NFL clubs. The EFC fitness coach rated it so highly, Everton have had one made and imported it to the club

The Everton press officer advised us it is used in pre-season and the players hate it. At first I presumed you climbed the steep sides with a rope. I was wrong, they run up it!

For me it demonstrates the ability of David Moyes (and his team) to look at other sports and try and embrace the training/conditioning techniques for us.
Anthony Dyer
9   Posted 08/04/2009 at 22:00:33

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Andrew I think you meant to say that the Under-2 year olds were just out of potty training, that?s why everyone else went to the Gym. Good insight into DM?s methods though.

What?s the betting that we won?t get planning permission for the Conifers. Maybe we should all buy a Christmas Tree and donate them to Finch Farm, wonder if there?s any planning rules to prevent that happening...

Lyndon Lloyd
Editorial Team
10   Posted 08/04/2009 at 22:11:31

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Sorry about those issues, Andrew. I’ve gone in and fixed them all now that I’ve seen them.
Russell Buckley
11   Posted 09/04/2009 at 01:45:32

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Thanks for the insight, Andrew. You are a lucky bastard to get that kind of experience.

Interesting to see the previous leaked kit designs are true.
John Maxwell
12   Posted 09/04/2009 at 02:32:03

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Does anyone else think Moyes is playing Yakubu out of position in reception?

Now I know times are hard and cost efficiency, working as a team and covering for staff shortages are important, but this seems ridiculous..

Did he wink at you on the way in?
Derek Thomas
13   Posted 09/04/2009 at 06:33:59

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Mention of those stairs bring back memories, the old tried and true methods never change. It builds up muscle and wind, although they call it Aerobics now.

Back in the day we used to train Tues and Thur and on Sat went to Ainsdale, up and down the biggest sandhill the boss (ex-army) could find and when we got tired of that, we had to to to piggy back your mate up and down.
Paul Lynch
14   Posted 09/04/2009 at 10:31:22

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Andrew, how did you manage to go on a tour of the training ground? Is it available to all supporters, and how did you find out about it???? COYB
Ciarán MacGiollaEoin
15   Posted 09/04/2009 at 12:40:32

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Superb insight...

Is it just me or does Moyes comes across as a fellow cynic!

What a guy.
Tony Connor
16   Posted 09/04/2009 at 12:55:35

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I can honestly say I have never heard of anyone ever having to apply for planning permission to plant a/many tree/s.

Planting a tree does not constitute development and the only way you?d need permission would be if the original planning permission for Finch Farm included a condition that limited planting... highly unlikely!
Steven May
17   Posted 09/04/2009 at 14:01:43

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"Is it just me or does Moyes comes across as a fellow cynic!"

No, not just you, and I love him for it!

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