POOLS-SIDE: Richard Mennear arrives in Spain for Hartlepool United training camp

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SO, as it turns out, this journalism lark isn’t such a bad gig after all.

As you read this I will be most likely sunning myself in the state-of-the-art La Cala Resort, in southern Spain, where Pools are based this week.

LA CALA: Pools training in the stunning setting in southern Spain

LA CALA: Pools training in the stunning setting in southern Spain

I have been lucky enough to blag myself a trip on the pre-season training camp despite the fact Pools aren’t actually playing any matches.

Not sure if the editor is aware of that but my colleagues at Mail Tower seemed more than happy to get rid of me from the office for a day or two. Fine by me, who wouldn’t fancy a summertime trip to Spain?!

The squad jetted out yesterday morning – flying from Newcastle to Malaga airport – and I followed in their dusty trails this morning. It was an unusually early start. I didn’t realise there were two 4 o’clocks in the same day.

After a three-hour flight I landed in the glorious sunshine and searing 30C heat before my transfer via Malaga Minibus to La Cala Resort, mine and Pools’ Spanish base, beaming in all its glory.

BASE: La Cala in Spain

BASE: La Cala in Spain

As well as top football facilities, including a FIFA-approved training pitch, there are also top-notch golf courses for the players to unwind on after a busy day.

I thought it best to mention to the Pools management team beforehand that I was joining them at the resort.

Imagine if I’d just rocked up in my shorts, shocks and sandals without letting Colin Cooper know -

“The bloody Night Mail get everywhere”.

Hartlepool Mail reporter Richard Mennear. Picture by FRANK REID

Hartlepool Mail reporter Richard Mennear. Picture by FRANK REID

But thankfully, the Pools camp are very accommodating and were more than happy for me to join them.

If nothing else I can make myself useful and help gather the balls from the nearby bushes after the forwards have finished training.

It will also be a great chance to cast a closer eye over the new signings - Matthew Bates and Stuart Parnaby - and keep a close eye out for any other new arrivals who may have joined them on the flight.

So, if the Wifi behaves itself – and I can peel myself away from the bar and pool area long enough – then I look forward to bringing you regular updates over the coming days from Spain.

Who knows, I could even impress Cooper & Co with my silky skills and secure myself a summer transfer to Pools. Then again, maybe not. Now, where’s that bar?

Follow Richard on Twitter @RMennearHMail

WHILE the Pools camp prepare for the upcoming Sky Bet League Two campaign in the searing temperatures of Spain, supporters back home are being urged to grab their cut-price season tickets before today’s deadline.

So far more than 2,400 have been snapped up.

But remaining fans only have until 4pm today (Tuesday, July 8) to buy their Pools season ticket for the 2014-15 season at the lowest price.

After today’s deadline, prices will rise by up to £20 per ticket.

Officials say the club ticket office was busy on Saturday with 120 sold within four hours. As of yesterday, the total number sold for the new season is 2,400.

For more information pop along to the ticket office at Victoria Park, in Clarence Road.