Liverpool left their long-time training ground at Melwood for a new, state-of-the-art facility in Kirkby in November 2020. The complex offers everything the Reds can need and more as boss Jurgen Klopp bids to further the Merseyside outfit’s status as one of England’s and Europe’s most successful clubs.
The complex, known for sponsorship reasons as the AXA Training Centre, is also home to Liverpool’s academy set-up. Anfield chiefs relocated the Reds’ entire training set-up after 70 years at Melwood. It also marked the first time that the first-team and youth squads were located on the same campus.
Liverpool training ground name
Officially, Liverpool’s Kirkby training ground is called The Academy but the Reds and AXA agreed on a naming rights deal. The Merseyside club expanded their already-existing partnership with the French multinational insurance company to include being the Reds’ first training complex naming partner.
AXA was already sponsoring Liverpool’s training kits but increased its deal to include all of the Reds’ training apparel and the Kirkby complex. The site is therefore known as the AXA Training Centre and features the insurance company’s branding. AXA first began sponsoring Liverpool back in 2018.
How many pitches are there at the AXA Training Centre?
The 9,200-square metre AXA Training Centre site offers Liverpool’s first-team and academy access to three full-size football pitches. It also has a separate goalkeeper area along with warm-up zones.
Each full-size pitch matches the dimensions of the field at Anfield so that Liverpool’s players train on an identical surface to the one they play on. While manager Klopp can oversee their training pitches from his office. The German has a balcony that provides sightlines of the action across the facilities.
What other facilities do Liverpool have at their training ground?
Liverpool’s training ground has a host of indoor facilities including a full-size sports hall, two gyms, a pool, specialist sports rehabilitation suites and a hydrotherapy complex. The Reds also invested in an altitude chamber that lets them train at temperatures of 40 degrees, 90% humidity and at low oxygen levels.
The gym is three times the size of the one in Liverpool’s previous Melwood training ground. While the medical area is twice the size. The Kirkby facility also features courts for beach football, beach volleyball, tennis and paddle tennis. All in, the AXA Training Centre cost Liverpool £50m to build.
Liverpool trained at Melwood before moving to Kirkby in 2020
Liverpool left their historic training ground at Melwood in 2020 to join their academy teams at the AXA Training Centre. The Reds first constructed the Kirkby facility in 1998 for their youth teams to train at. The site has undergone a number of renovations over the years leading to its current edition.
Melwood had been Liverpool’s training base since 1950 in order to protect the pitch at Anfield. The club previously trained at their home stadium despite first constructing their Melwood base in 1920.
Redevelopment projects in 1952 and 2001 kept Melwood up to scratch for the times. But Liverpool no longer felt the facility was sufficient in terms of its size or privacy and elected to move to Kirkby.
Liverpool sold off Melwood to property developers Torus for around £10m ahead of leaving the training ground, per the Daily Mail. But the Reds opened talks to re-purchase the site in February 2023 so the club’s women’s team could train there. Torus had yet to begin building on the plot it purchased in 2019.
What is the address?
AXA Training Centre: Simonswood Lane, Metropolitan Borough of Knowsley, Merseyside, L33 5XB