Gussie Park will reopen on Tuesday evening after ‘Phase One’ of Dundee United’s ambitious redevelopment project was completed at a cost of more than £300,000.
United’s under-18s side will take on Celtic at 7.30 p.m., marking a major milestone as the Tangerines seek to modernise the famous training facility.
The revamped Gussie boasts a 4G synthetic pitch, UEFA-approved floodlights, perimeter fencing and new barriers which serve to extend the spectators’ area.
Age groups from pre-Academy to United’s under-18s will now be able to use the facility as youngsters seek to follow in the footsteps of ex-graduates like Ryan Gauld and Duncan Ferguson.
“We are delighted to see the completion of phase one of the redevelopment project,” Dundee United academy director Andy Goldie told the club’s official website.
“This will allow our academy programme to return to a much improved Gussie Park.
“Planning and design for phase two of the project is already underway which, when completed, will provide our academy players, staff and families with an environment that drives our vision and mission.”
The works, which took place in just four months, were partially made possible by the ongoing support of the Dundee United Supporters’ Foundation (DUSF).
The fans’ group — now more than 2000 members strong — contributed £100,000, supplementing funding from United owner Mark Ogren and a £100,000 Scottish FA grant.
“Following DUSF’s £100,000 investment we are excited to see this phase of the Gussie Park campus coming to fruition,” said DUSF’s Martin Manzi.
𝐏𝐡𝐚𝐬𝐞 𝐎𝐧𝐞: ✅
This evening, our historic training facility at Gussie Park reopens its doors for the #YoungTerrors' game against Celtic after significant renovation 👷♂️
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— Dundee United FC (@dundeeunitedfc) April 26, 2022
“The overriding principle that our members have supported is that Foundation funding should go to projects that would be a permanent asset for the club, and would enhance the club’s capability to attract and retain high quality academy prospects.
“This work, on and around the Gussie Park pitch, certainly falls into that category.”
United will now turn their attention towards ‘Phase Two’ of the project.
As outlined by the Tannadice club, that will include ‘changing room improvements, a physical performance suite, a cafe, office space, performance education suite and a medical studio’.
It is also hoped viewing balconies and analysis suites could be part of the final blueprints.
The aim of Gussie Park is to ultimately ‘make Dundee United increasingly attractive to young players, who then can develop in an environment second to none.’
DUSF will ballot their own membership on the prospect of providing further funding in the future.