By his own admission, the Bolton boss feels like a “kid in a sweet shop” when driving into the pristine pitches at Lostock at the crack of dawn.
Unaccustomed to such luxuries at his previous clubs, the 40-acre site remains an impressive resource despite the catalogue of financial problems faced by Wanderers in recent years.
Back in 2016, the need for ready cash led to the sale of Bolton’s old training base at Euxton – a luxurious facility which was crafted over many years of top-flight football.
The move to a combined base alongside the academy was headline news at the time, but both sides of the club have now settled and it is Hill’s ambition to try and make Lostock just as appealing as a workplace.
“I don’t want this to be somewhere you drag yourself in, sit in a changing room on your phone. I can’t stand phones,” he told The Bolton News.
“As a 16 or 17-year-old you should be embracing every minute. If it were up to me, this place would be open 24 hours.
“I’ve never had a proper training complex before but I really want players to enjoy coming in here. We play Teqball every morning to improve technique, have a bit of fun with the ball. Most of all I want them to appreciate everything they have got here.
“Everything we do is football, football, football. We need those minutes and hours on the pitch with ball contact.”
Dougie Freedman famously stopped his players from using their phones at the training ground in his early days as Bolton boss in 2013, confiscating the one belonging to Marvin Sordell at one stage after voicing concerns at his over-use of social media.
“I’m nowhere near that,” insisted Hill. “But I do want young players to be responsible – for their own timekeeping, for example.
“I’m genuinely quite flexible on a lot of things. I want good people with good characteristics who show respect and have self-respect, a smile on their face. This isn’t work it’s enjoyable, you put yourself into improving. The rest of the day you can play football, use the gymnasium, rest, recover, eat the right food and go again.
“Big Sam said ‘create an environment where the players can leave but don’t want to leave’ and that’s exactly what I am trying to do.”
Hill has not held his tongue since arriving at the club, particularly on the subject of younger players coming through the academy.
He insists, however, that his candour is not meant to be taken personally, nor aimed at specific people at the club.
Hill feels passionately that younger players need to reconnect with football across the game, rather than being side-tracked by the trappings of teenage life.
“The lifestyle for players shouldn’t be about their car or the way that they dress or social media,” he said. “It should be about getting on your CV games played, games won, and experiencing playing 23s then first team, then back, until you develop into a proper first team player.
“That’s all I’m asking. It sounds simple but more people are interested in their phones than they are to developing their careers.
“Football lifestyles don’t bother me. I’ll go and see my mates in the No Name and they’ll give me a load of grief, and I enjoy it. I’m right on their plateau.
“The training ground should be a challenging environment - but it should be one where if you go at it right, you improve. I don’t like propaganda and politics, it’s not for me. If I can see you are not doing something, you are not doing it.”