Jordan Henderson is confident the essence of Melwood will be transferred to the ‘outstanding’ AXA Training Centre.
Liverpool moved into their state-of-the-art facility in Kirkby last week and, while acknowledging the sentimental pull of the historic home they have left behind, Henderson believes the new base can become imbued with a similarly special spirit.
“When you have an emotional attachment to something, being able to leave it behind isn’t the easiest thing in the world. For us, leaving Melwood, as we did in the last couple of weeks, has been a really bittersweet experience,” the captain writes, in his notes for tonight’s official matchday programme.
“Firstly, in these extraordinary times where people are experiencing loss that most of us can’t really comprehend unless you’re going through it yourself, I readily admit it does feel odd feeling so attached to what is effectively a building and some pitches. But our home in West Derby always felt like much more than just bricks, walls and grass.
“I’m not usually one for sentiment for these sort of things, but I have to admit in the final few weeks and days at Melwood it did get to me how much I’d miss the place.
“As a player, you were made to feel valued, safe and well looked after. Although we can’t literally pick up Melwood and move it to Kirkby, we can take the best part of it with us - and that’s the atmosphere created by the people who work there.
“Of course we have now moved into our new home, the AXA Training Centre, and I have to say it is superb. We are very grateful, as a team, that so much has been invested into this place so we can have some of the best facilities the game can offer.
“It is of course early days and like any ‘house move’ we are still getting used to it. But it is outstanding and I’m confident we can transfer the spirit and feeling of Melwood into it given time.
“As the current team we do feel a sense of responsibility to make sure our new base quickly becomes synonymous with success and achievement. We know it’s a great privilege to be the first Liverpool team to work here. We know with that comes great responsibility.”