Lewis leads Dons into new era.

Grounds for joy as Lewis pitches in to hail Kings­ford

The Press and Journal (Aberdeen and Aberdeenshire) - - SPORT - BY PAUL THIRD

He has ex­pe­ri­enced the good, the bad and the down­right ugly when it comes to train­ing pitches but, as he pre­pares for his new per­ma­nent base at Cor­mack Park, Aberdeen cap­tain Joe Lewis could not be hap­pier that the wait is fi­nally over.

Lewis at­tended the of­fi­cial open­ing of Cor­mack Park in Kings­ford on the out­skirts of Aberdeen on Thurs­day and the smile on his face as he took in his new sur­round­ings told the story.

A de­vel­op­ment which for decades has seemed like a pipedream has fi­nally be­come a re­al­ity.

Lewis said: “It is a mas­sive achieve­ment for the club and ev­ery­one who has worked so hard for it. The team and the man­age­ment will be the im­me­di­ate ben­e­fi­cia­ries of it.

“The train­ing pitches at the bar­racks are not as bad as when I first ar­rived but they are not great due to the drainage and they are very sand-based, so when it is dry they can be very hard.

“There are no ex­cuses now we have these bril­liant fa­cil­i­ties. The main train­ing pitch is the best spec you could ask for and the other ones which are ready now will be as good as the pitch at Pit­to­drie, so we will have bet­ter qual­ity train­ing ses­sions.

“The young lads won’t have to mark up pitches and put up goals any more. They can now fo­cus on them­selves more and hope­fully the club will see the ben­e­fit of that in years to come.

“Cardiff ’s train­ing fa­cil­i­ties were good but not as good as this. Ful­ham, not as good as this, but you wouldn’t get a piece of land down there of this size very cheap.

“When I first signed for Peter­bor­ough they were promis­ing train­ing fa­cil­i­ties and they are still af­ter it now. You al­ways get prom­ises of train­ing fa­cil­i­ties but this one has al­ways been a re­al­is­tic pos­si­bil­ity and now it’s the real thing.”

The train­ing ground is a wel­come ad­di­tion to the club but Lewis knows more re­sults like Wed­nes­day’s 1-0 win at Hamil­ton are of equal im­por­tance fol­low­ing a stop-start open­ing to the cam­paign.

In­juries and sus­pen­sions have hit the Dons hard but, with the chance to move up to third pos­si­ble in the two games be­fore the in­ter­na­tional break, the Aberdeen goal­keeper is ea­ger to find some con­sis­tency.

Lewis, whose side wel­come Kilmarnock to Pit­to­drie to­day, said: “The Hamil­ton game was an im­por­tant re­sult but it didn’t re­flect how well we played. We hit the post, the cross­bar, a cou­ple cleared of the line and a cou­ple of penalty claims. The per­for­mance was re­ally good and hope­fully we can build on that.

“There have been a cou

ple of stand­out good per­for­mances and stand­out poor per­for­mances as well and we need to find some con­sis­tency. The Celtic and Rangers games have been real blows and dis­ap­point­ing per­for­mances and we need to erad­i­cate those per­for­mances as they don’t re­flect well on the team.

“We need to put them be­hind us as we are not ac­tu­ally in a ter­ri­ble po­si­tion in the league and if we can do well in the next two games we could find our­selves in third po­si­tion by the in­ter­na­tional break. Since I’ve been here we have put good runs to­gether and that’s what we are aim­ing to do again. We know we have the abil­ity, which makes the poor per­for­mances even more frus­trat­ing.”

LET’S GET TO WORK: Aberdeen goal­keeper and cap­tain Joe Lewis, sec­ond from left, works up a sweat dur­ing the team’s first train­ing ses­sion at Cor­mack Park

NEW SUR­ROUND­INGS: The Aberdeen play­ers get a feel for one of their new train­ing pitches at Cor­mack Park ahead of to­day’s match against Kilmarnock

Winger Niall McGinn gets in some touches

Derek McInnes and the re­turn­ing Ash Taylor

Coach Barry

Dons cap­tain Joe Lewis in ac­tion

Rob­son, right, shares a joke with McInnes

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