Hartlepool United’s Matthew Bates prefers pre-season in Canaries rather than Catterick boot camp

Matthew Bates
Matthew Bates

Matthew Bates insists there are no right or wrong ways to pre-season ideas at Hartlepool United.

Pools are coming towards the end of their week’s training camp in Tenerife ahead of the rest of the friendly programme.

I much prefer Tenerife for a week’s training than an army camp!

Matthew Bates

Manager Craig Hignett and his coaching team have been putting the players through a tough regime, admittedly in gorgeous surroundings and very warm temperatures.

It is light years away from 12 months ago, when then boss Ronnie Moore, on the recommendation of head physio Ian Gallagher, took the squad to an Army camp at Catterick.

The new-look Pools squad experienced spartan surroundings plus a real beasting from the Army PT instructors under Staff Sergeant Paul Tucker, a Poolie, on the fields and assault courses in North Yorkshire.

“It is different this year,” smiled Bates.

“It’s a case of each to their own, every manager does things differently.

“I’m not saying there is a right and wrong way.

“Our gaffer has a certain way of doing things and you will have managers up and down the country doing different things.

“I much prefer Tenerife for a week’s training than an army camp!

“But Catterick was good for team spirit and you could see how well we started in the league.

“It wasn’t just down to that but we were glad we had done it afterwards.

“At the time it was horrendous but we can look back at it now with fond memories.

“We can tick that one off the list anyway.”

The work has been just as intense at Top Training Tenerife in the beautiful resort of La Caleta, though this time there has been no screams of “grenade” from Army PT instructors.

“Tenerife’s different!” said Bates.

“It’s been about all of us coming together and working hard, using the great facilities.

“It is a good chance to get to know the new players and everyone to bed in.

“We’ve been able to get in a good week’s work in without any distractions.”

Pools were involved in a double session today and they will train again tomorrow ahead of a late flight back on Sunday.

The squad will have Monday off and return to Maiden Castle on Tuesday to get ready for Wednesday’s prestige friendly against Sunderland.