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Lee Clark enthused by Irish base

Posted: Sun 06 Jul 2014
Author: Andy Walker

The Blues squad arrive at Fota Island.

Image by: Roy Smiljanic

Blues boss Lee Clark is looking forward to a productive week with his squad here in the Republic of Ireland.

The 24-man travelling party touched down in Cork on Sunday morning before heading to their impressive Fota Island base.

And, having settled into the five-star surroundings, Clark explained to the significance of the next six days.

“This trip will be important both for the physical aspect and also the integration of the new players into the group,” he said. 

“I said earlier last week that this is the perfect opportunity for new signings to come into the group where you’re living with each other 24 hours a day and learning about each other, not just about how they play but what type of characteristics they’ve got. 

“Fota Island is a tremendous resort and the facilities are top drawer so we’re looking forward to a very productive week.”

This is Blues’ third pre-season training camp in the Republic of Ireland in the last four years and the second time they’ve returned to Fota Island having utilised the resort’s facilities under Chris Hughton in 2011.

“The location (Ireland) is ideal with it just being an hour’s flight so there’s not much travelling. Then the facilities – we had Carton House last year and Fota Island this year – and both are absolutely brilliant in every aspect be it weight training, the swimming pools, the quality of the pitches. 

“It’s also about the type of games you can play. The teams are in their league programme so they’re up and running and will give you a good test. It will certainly be a type of football and intensity that will come at the level when you start again in the Championship season. I’m really looking forward to another productive week.

“You’re getting double sessions on the grass, weight sessions, injury prevention sessions and it also gives the physios and medical department good time to spend with the players and draw up personal programmes. 

“We use the time and facilities to enhance the pre-season programme. It’s about using the time wisely and I’m lucky that my new signings are already on board.”