Date: 9th December 2014 at 12:39pm
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The new City academy, part of a £200m regeneration project in Eastern Manchester, has been officially opened.

ADUG’s investment of some £50m to clean up and redevelop the polluted and previously unused industrial land neighbouring the Etihad Stadium allowed the Etihad Campus to be born.

This has now been officially opened by former City man Tony Book, chairman Khaldoon Al Mubarak and the Chancellor of the Exchequer George Osborne, with Osborne speaking glowingly of this project and the benefits it’ll bring for all.

It’s not really for me to say much more on this breathtakingly awesome complex (comprising of no fewer than 16 football pitches to be used by various age groups and an academy stadium that can seat 7,000 people) I’ll leave it to the chairman.

Khaldoon Al Mubarak said: ‘We always intended that the City Football Academy be a catalyst for the creation of talent and opportunity. Our aim is to see young footballers realise their full potential both on and off the field.

‘Today marks the end of six years of extensive research, development and construction involving many, many people. It also marks the beginning of a responsibility to deliver against the opportunities we have created for ourselves. It is not the end of the journey but rather an important staging post.

‘The very first task Sheikh Mansour (City owner) and I discussed was to create an engine for the development and enhancement of talent, something that would truly differentiate the club as a leader in the world of football.

‘The cornerstone for the future was a vision for youth development and sustainability. A vision to educate talented young footballers, on and off the pitch and to do so in a place supported by the best coaches and coaching programmes.

‘The Chancellor’s announcement today is both fitting and gratifying. It represents an investment in both Manchester and in football, two things which we strongly believe in.’

Ordinarily I wouldn’t want to add quite so many quotes but I think this was an occasion when an exception could be made!

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