Footballing legend Harry Redknapp was joined by hundreds of Cherries fans on Saturday at the opening of AFC Bournemouth’s £600,000 training facilities.

A 2-2 draw with Premier League opposition Reading was the icing on the cake for an afternoon that kicked off with the formal welcome of new stadium sponsors Goldsands Management.

Accompanied by the Mayor of Bournemouth, Cherries chairman Eddie Mitchell, manager Paul Groves and AFC Bournemouth striker Steve Fletcher, Redknapp cut the ribbon in front of an excited crowd, and scored the first goal on the new pitches.

Acknowledging the investment in the training ground, Redknapp said: “All the infrastructure is now in place here, the club has everything and I’m sure the players are grateful to have somewhere to train onsite with such good facilities.”

Ahead of the ribbon-cutting ceremony, a reception was held to welcome the latest major sponsors at the club, – stadium sponsors Goldsands Management and shirt sponsors Energy Consulting Group.

Managing director of Goldsands Management John O’Neill said: “There is an air of positivity flowing through the corridors here at the Goldsands Stadium. It is exciting to see the club expanding and growing.”

The newly formed concierge company is the latest in a long list of businesses that have invested in the ambitious League 1 club, and AFC Bournemouth commercial director Rob Mitchell is pleased with the increasing national interest in the Cherries.

“I am delighted to welcome two companies of such scale on board at the club,” he said. “The level of media interest we receive is much higher than it once was and the scale of investment we are now receiving is testament to the ambition of everyone at AFC Bournemouth.”