Lewis leads Dons into new era.
Grounds for joy as Lewis pitches in to hail Kingsford
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
Dons captain Joe Lewis in action
Robson, right, shares a joke with McInnes