Hartlepool United confirm pre-season training camp following Middlesbrough friendly

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John Askey will take his Hartlepool United squad to Scotland next week as part of a pre-season training camp.

Askey’s squad returned for pre-season training duty earlier this month for a series of fitness tests at Teesside University before the group returned to their Maiden Castle training base ahead of their opening pre-season friendly with North East neighbours Middlesbrough.

Following that fixture at the Suit Direct Stadium, Pools have an eight-day period before heading to National League North side Blyth Spartans where they will head north of the border for an extensive training programme.

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The Mail revealed earlier this summer that Askey had been keen to take his squad of players to Scotland having done so before when in charge of his previous clubs.

And Hartlepool have now confirmed the trip, which will take place from July 17-20.

Askey and his squad will head to the Inverclyde SportScotland National Training Centre in Largs for a four day intensive training programme ahead of the new league season.

"It's an opportunity for us to train with the players 3-4 times a day which you don't get back home,” said Askey.

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"It’s a chance to bond and embed the new players in. We have a clear programme and we’re looking forward to it.

Hartlepool United will travel to Scotland as part of a pre-season training camp. (Photo: Mark Fletcher | MI News)Hartlepool United will travel to Scotland as part of a pre-season training camp. (Photo: Mark Fletcher | MI News)
Hartlepool United will travel to Scotland as part of a pre-season training camp. (Photo: Mark Fletcher | MI News)

"We know our biggest strengths and weaknesses and the programme we have put together will allow us to work on different things, maintain fitness levels and allow individual players to focus on their own improvements.”

Askey added: “I’ve been there before where we can have a proper pre-season. It’s worked in the past when I’ve gone up there.

"It’s not a jolly up, it’s a proper pre-season and hopefully it brings everybody together. We’re with each other 24 hours a day so I think it’s good for team bonding.

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"But the main thing is the team who goes out next season are going to work really hard and be really fit. If you are that, and you are prepared to close down the opposition, then you’ve got a great chance of winning games.”

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The training facility, based in North Ayrshire, houses a number of grass training pitches as well as both indoor and outdoor 3G pitches along with a fitness suite and gym studios.

The centre, which fully reopened in April 2017, has benefited from a £12million investment and is the first UK residential sports centre of its kind.

The centre has been created with inclusivity in mind for athletes and spectators, visitors and employees and is a popular destination among sports teams.

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The complex has welcomed the likes of the British curling team, Great Britain’s WU20s basketball team and Championship side Birmingham City in recent weeks, with Hartlepool next to secure a number of days at the facility.

Hartlepool took part in a warm weather training camp last summer in Portugal where they faced Scottish Premiership side Hibernian in a friendly but the club are not reporting details of any fixture in Scotland, with the focus, instead, being to help build fitness levels and integrate the squad further.