Representatives from Middlesbrough Football Club, including former manager Bryan Robson, travelled to Europe's finest clubs to research ideas for the club's training ground, which also houses Middlesbrough Football Club's Academy.

And the end result of trips to the likes of Ajax and many others is the impressive £7m complex set 20-miles from Middlesbrough in the leafy village of Hurworth, near Darlington.

Set deep in the heart of County Durham countryside, Rockliffe Park was purchased in 1997 and has been constructed to compete with any other training facility in the world.

England teams at levels through to the full squad have trained at the site and Team GB used it as a base as they prepared for the London 2012 Olympics.

The Training HQ and sports hall were built with future in mind and the modern facilities and techniques used have become the envy of many Premier League clubs.

A state-of-the-art sports science department and gym, rehabilitation areas and massage rooms, spacious changing rooms, saunas, steam rooms and Jacuzzis and a comfortable restaurant are just some of its assets.

The sports science department has its disposal modern machines to monitor everything from weight to percentages of body fat, and much, much more.

Officially opened in October 1998, just ten months after work started, the 160-acre site also had eight quality grass pitched as well as two outdoor synthetic surfaces for training in all conditions.

Rockliffe Park

And when the winter months arrive, the impressive sports hall offers a massive indoor playing area made from revolutionary artificial surface called Fieldturf.

It allows for goalkeepers to dive without the risk of injury and also for proper studded football boots to be worn.

The complex underwent major changes in the summer of 2012 as part of the Premier League's Elite Player Performance Plan.

Classrooms were created for young players in the Boro Academy to have lessons while away from the schools for training and facilities were upgraded to meet stringent EPPP standards.

Academy corridor at Rockliffe Park

But it's not just footballers who benefit from the excellent facilities. Extensive office space and a spacious reception area are in place for administration staff and visitors alike.

Taylor Woodrow, the people who constructed the Riverside Stadium, were the main contractors at the training ground, with Crown House Engineering the main sub-contractors. Local firm PMPS provided project management services.

The five-star Rockliffe Hall Hotel and golf course, located on the adjoining site, makes the complex a perfect base for professional sports teams visiting the region.