James McPake has hailed progress in Dunfermline’s new training ground as ‘massive’.
And the Pars boss is convinced it will both help the club ‘grow’ and get one up on rivals when trying to sign players.
The East End Park outfit announced last week they had finally started construction of the facility at the Civil Service Sports Council grounds in Rosyth.
Planning delays and discussions with funding partners had postponed the works, which were initially announced in November 2021.
It had been hoped to have part of the site operational for the start of pre-season training last term.
However, it is now anticipated the first phase, including a floodlit artificial pitch and dressing rooms, will be completed by the end of March.
McPake, whose squad currently train at former base Pitreavie, is relishing the prospect of Dunfermline having their own purpose-built facility before the SPFL Championship campaign is finished.
He said: “It’s massive. I know it takes the football club to another level but it cannot be underplayed just how important or how good a training ground would be. There are not many in Scotland.
“Pitreavie have been excellent with us since we’ve come in. It has been good down there, but just having your own space and everything there…
“We are fortunate with the gym that we have got here [at East End Park] but I’ve been at clubs where the gym is off-site, the training ground is off-site. It is tough.
“You just have to deal with it but having your own facility grows the club from pre-academy all the way to first-team.
“You are spending more hours there and having that ability to be on the pitch as much as you want, and the ability to have everything on-site is huge for the younger kids and all the way to the first-team.
“In my opinion it is a massive step for the club and I’m looking forward to it.”
#DAFC are pleased to confirm that work has started at our training facility in Rosyth.
— Dunfermline Athletic (@officialdafc) November 29, 2023
McPake remembers the influence that modern, state-of-the-art facilities had on him during spells with Coventry City and Hibernian.
He is hopeful Dunfermline’s training ground could also help sway signing targets – at all levels of the club – in future.
He added: “I have played at clubs who have their own training ground but I have never coached where you could bring a player in and say, ‘here’s a facility’.
“When I went into Hibs or Coventry for the first time your first impression is of the training ground. If you can add that to your club I think it will definitely help.
“There can be other reasons for young kids [in terms of] where their parents want them to go. Or for older players is it money, location? I don’t know, everything comes into it.
“Certainly it is not going to do any harm and it just makes the environment more professional as well.
“So, credit to the club for doing this. I’m looking forward to it.”