Although Madejski Stadium is undoubtedly the home of Reading Football Club, its heartbeat is at our training facilities where our senior and Academy teams put in the hard yards.
Find out more about our sites and what kind of work goes on at each.
The natural evolution of Reading FC has seen it outgrow its Hogwood Park home and with the club’s ongoing investment in the Premier League’s Elite Player Performance Plan (EPPP) structure for elite Academies, new training facilities are necessary to sustain Category One Academy status and meet the growing everyday demands of a progressive football club.
The Bearwood facility became the new home to our first team during the 2019-20 season, while young professionals, Academy players from the ages of 8 to 18, our coaching staff and management team as well as a large proportion of the club’s permanent staff transitioned to the new site during the course of 2020.
The site at Bearwood Estate was identified and contracts were initially exchanged with the Royal Merchant Navy School Foundation for the purchase of nearly 120 acres of land on Friday 11th October 2013.
Plans were drawn up and openly exhibited to supporters and local residents in the Mosaic Room at Bearwood College in December 2013, at which point the public were able to view the plans for the first time, discuss aspects of the scheme with members of the Club's appointed development team and provide valuable feedback.
Permission to develop was then formally requested and in April 2015, the club confirmed that Wokingham Borough Council had resolved to grant planning permission for the development of the new facility.
The new site hosts three full size first team pitches which will be designed to mirror the exact dimensions of Madejski Stadium, a floodlit all-weather surface and a goalkeeping practice area.
It is also home to a purpose-built first team building and a separate Academy facility as well as a number of various other ancillary buildings. Ongoing development of the site will also involve extensive landscaping of the park and the refurbishment of a number of existing buildings.
As of the summer of 2020, the Hogwood Park site became solely used by Reading FC Women, who moved into the venue on a temporary status. Prior to relocating to Hogwood, our women's senior side had been training at Bisham Abbey. Ultimately, they will join the men's senior and Academy sides at Bearwood, but they currently have sole use of the site which our men's teams used for over a decade.
Originally rented from the army, the Royals' men's team moved their training efforts to the Hogwood Park location in the summer of 2009 - thanks to the initiative and support of Sir John Madejski.
There are training facilities, a gym, administration offices, classrooms, analysis rooms and more, which were installed over the course of the men's team's tenancy to continually improve the site. The main pitch at Hogwood has a grandstand, where the Under-18 fixtures and some Under-23 fixtures were played.
With work continuing apace at our new Bearwood Park training facility, Reading FC Women will eventually move to the new site too.