Severe criticism of Oriam as Scotland coach labels pitch 'safety hazard' and explains why Lesser Hampden is so good

Scotland assistant boss John Carver has explained the reason behind the national team not using Oriam, the country’s national sports performance centre, labelling the training pitch “a safety hazard”.

Ahead of the Euro 2024 double header with Cyprus and Spain at Hampden Park, Steve Clarke’s men have been training on Lesser Hampden in the shadows of the national stadium, instead of the venue on the outskirts of Edinburgh which is used on a daily basis by Hearts as their training base, while the Scotland Rugby team use the facility as well as Scotland women’s national team.

Carver expressed concerns over the playing surface and explained that previous training sessions having to be cut short due to injury concerns. Oriam is Scotland’s national performance centre for sport, based at Heriot-Watt University’s Riccarton campus in Edinburgh, and has been the base for the squad since 2016.

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Carver, a coach under current manager Steve Clarke, explained the move to Lesser Hampden, saying: “We had to move from Oriam because we couldn’t get any accommodation in the hotel there but also, when you have someone like Willie Haughey (Queen’s Park backer), who wants to help the national team, him and his staff have been incredible. That facility we have trained on this morning is amazing, but the amount of people who have done so much hard work behind the scenes is incredible considering it is Queen’s Park’s facility.

“I will give you an example. The surface is Premier League standard. We haven’t had one player slip on the surface this morning, With all due respect to Oriam, the surface was a safety hazard in my eyes. The pitch looked good on the eye. You guys were there quite often and you only saw us working in small areas.

“For some reason the surface would give way. For the guys who were training on it, for me, it was a safety hazard, a health risk. I am surprised we didn’t get any serious injuries from it, especially at the pace and tempo these guys were playing at and are playing at now. It was a huge concern. Nearly every one of them (raised concerns) and we had to curtail training at times.

“Now we have gone to this place and it is on another level. It inspires me because you can tell the way I am speaking about it. It will certainly inspire a player. They must have got a massive boost when they walked through the door this morning and seen the facilities, the changing room and walked out to the pitch, because I did.

“It is very important because you have to make progress. This team is making progress, so we have to make progress behind the scenes as well. We have to make sure the environment when they come here from their clubs is right so we have to try and give them the best that we can and we are heading in the right direction.”

Scotland national team are not using Oriam due to safety concerns.  (Photo by Craig Williamson / SNS Group)Scotland national team are not using Oriam due to safety concerns.  (Photo by Craig Williamson / SNS Group)
Scotland national team are not using Oriam due to safety concerns. (Photo by Craig Williamson / SNS Group)



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