Le Haillan château & training grounds

The Girondins' headquarters, training grounds and youth academy are located in Le Haillan, a small suburban town to the north-west of Bordeaux. 

The area was originally the grounds of Château Bel-Air, the mansion which remains at the heart of the property and which houses the club’s offices. The mansion had been built on the reported site of a battle during the Hundred Years’ War and often changed hands up until the 19th century before being occupied by the Germans during the Second World War. Post-War the property was in poor shape until the city of Bordeaux purchased it and the surrounding land in 1963.

In 1969, the area became an extensive horticultural college. The establishment had been founded in the 1950s using funds bequeathed by the 19th-century wine trader and philanthropist Camille Godard. In 1986, the college, its greenhouses and its associated municipal teams of gardeners and landscape artists moved to grounds adjacent to the château. And that is where the facility continues to operate under the name of “Lycée Horticole Camille Godard”.

At that time in the mid-1980s, the Girondins were France’s top team, had recently broken away from the “omnisports” club that had resulted in its creation to become a standalone sporting club, and the decision was made to move away from their training facilities at the Domaine de Rocquevieille in Mérignac (which is still today a Girondins omnisports club complex) where they had been based since the 1960s. 
A first-team training session.
The Le Haillan base has since developed into a world-class training facility. The full complex comprises nine football pitches, used by all categories of Girondins football teams. The senior squad enjoys prime access to two dedicated pitches (one with artificial grass), state-of-the-art changing facilities as well as dedicated fitness, physiotheraphy, video, press and team-briefing resources. In addition, the grounds are home to the Girondins TV station and partner radio station Gold FM, not to mention the permanent staff of the club.

There is also a Girondins shop on site, selling replica shirts, sports and casualwear, and various souvenirs and gifts. A ticketing booth is also available for over-the-counter ticket purchases. Note that the shop and ticketing booth operate office hours and are therefore closed over lunch and at weekends. 
Entrance to the Girondins store to one side of the château.
The training grounds are open to the general public and Girondins training sessions can be freely viewed from the sidelines, other than final sessions ahead of matches which are labelled as being “à huis clos”, i.e. behind closed doors, which in fact means that sheeting is put up around the training pitch. First team training schedules are available every week on the Girondins website, smartphone application and social media channels, and daily in local newspaper Sud Ouest.

After each session, it is possible to meet and greet the players by the barriers which have been set up near to the players’ car park. Most of the first team are more than willing to play the game when they don’t have other immediate commitments.

A post-training signing session in progress with 2017 signing Otávio.
  • The Le Haillan training grounds are located on Rue Joliot-Curie in Le Haillan, general public access and car parking via Rue du Moulineau.