We've finally heard Darren Eales and Atlanta United discuss the potential sponsorship of the club's new training facility.
In true Atlanta United fashion, Eales and AUFC are keeping any information about what company may be interested private, giving characteristics on the kind of companies they'd want as sponsors instead. In an interview with the Atlanta Business Chronicle, Eales was asked if AUFC intends to sell naming rights of the training facility:
Darren Eales: Yes. It’s certainly something that we’ve had a lot of interest in terms of companies that wanted to be associated with this facility not only being home to the first team and our youth development, but also us being engaged with the community. That’s something we actively looking at and discussing with a number of companies at the moment.
ABC also inquired about the potential relationship with the supporter groups and the training facility, asking if the training grounds would have a "clubhouse" for the fans.
DE: The great thing we have is a blank sheet of paper so we can always develop things how we want to go. We designed this training ground to have a lot of flexible space. For example, the observation pavilion by the show pitch (field) is something that could be used for that type of event. We also have the dining room, which has views over the training ground. Our whole focus was to create lots of multi-use, flexible spaces that we can then activate with our fans, the community and our corporate sponsors however we want to. That’s one of the many things we’ll be looking at as we develop. We’ll take the best ideas we can from other clubs and run with it.
Eales also further elaborated on the characteristics he's looking for in the club's first head coach, saying that he's looking for a top coach first and foremost. He wants a coach that believes in youth development and who isn't afraid to play young players. Lastly, Eales mentioned he wanted a coach that was aware of MLS, someone who believes MLS is on track to being a top league in the world.
DE: Major League Soccer is a growing league and Atlanta is an expansion team so they have to be someone who 110 percent believes in MLS being a top league in the future and Atlanta being one of the top clubs. We don’t want someone who is seeing it as a stepping stone to another job. It has to be someone who is fully committed. You’ll notice I haven’t said MLS experience because we accept that if we take a coach who hasn’t had MLS experience, it will be a prerequisite that his assistant coach will be someone who has had great experience in the league. But at the moment, we have a clean sheet of paper and are looking at all coaches from all areas.
Per usual (and it's NOT a bad thing), we don't have any indications as to who Atlanta United may be targeting for head coach. But, we have an even better indication as to their desire to talk to anyone currently coaching in Europe. I've said in the past I'd prefer someone who has serious MLS experience, however, repeated mentions of surrounding a foreign coach with MLS-experienced assistants eases my concerns with hiring a coach outside of MLS.
We also learned Arthur Blank was briefly featured on South Park...
Hey @Atlanta_Falcons Did you see Mr. Blank on South Park? Lol pic.twitter.com/dsNUjoNND6— Covey White (@Covey1Kenobi) September 26, 2014