Hartlepool United will travel to Portugal as part of their pre-season preparations and face former Sunderland manager and his new club

Hartlepool United will travel to Portugal this upcoming pre-season including a friendly in the Algarve.

By Joe Ramage
Friday, 27th May 2022, 4:00 pm

Pools will enjoy a week of warm weather training which will also include a fixture against Scottish Premiership side Hibernian before returning to the UK.

The training camp in Portugal represents the latest positive input from chief operating officer Stephen Hobin who has helped structure the club’s pre-season plans including five friendlies to be played on home soil before kicking off their second season back in League Two.

Pools will travel to the Algarve on Monday, June 27 before taking on former Sunderland boss Lee Johnson and his new side Hibs on Wednesday, June 29 before returning home on Friday, July 1.

Hartlepool United will travel to Portugal as part of their pre-season preparations. Picture byMartin Swinney.

Pools will then compete against a mixture of teams ahead of the start of the season with Billingham Synthonia, Marske United, Lincoln City and Blackburn Rovers all confirmed opponents.

There remains one fixture still to be confirmed which will take place at the Suit Direct Stadium on Monday, July 25.

“The players will be reporting back to our state of the art training facility at Maiden Castle, Durham University on June 20 where Keith McGrath, our head of performance and sports science, will carry out the necessary testing on the players and the pre-season training schedule will commence,” said Hobin.

“Keith and myself have worked closely to create a plan we believe is one of the best in the club’s history that incorporates Keith's expertise in designing the necessary fitness programme the players will need, alongside a carefully planned pre-season fixture schedule I have put together, building up the intensity for the team to be ready on July 30 when the season kicks off.

Hartlepool United chief operating officer Stephen Hobin has been instrumental in preparing the club's pre-season schedule. Picture by FRANK REID

“Our new manager will be able to come straight in and work with Chris Trotter, our new head of player recruitment, and will not need to worry about anything other than assembling his team and working with the players and his staff.

Hobin added: “I am delighted to announce the first team squad will be flying to Portugal where we have a warm weather training camp planned in the Algarve. This is something I am extremely pleased to deliver for the players.

“I feel it is important that the players, management and backroom team have time together in an elite sporting environment to start the second week of pre-season training with no distractions.

“It also gives the new manager time to get to know his squad and gives myself, club management and members of the backroom team presentation time to explain the expectations for everyone on and off the field next season.

“I would like to thank the chairman, Raj Singh, and my fellow board members in backing me in this request, together with a small panel of sponsors who are helping to make this trip happen.

“I am also pleased to announce that we will be playing a warm up game against Scottish Premiership side Hibernian and I am extremely grateful to my friend, and former colleague, Ben Kensell, for working closely with me to align our schedules to make this invaluable fixture come to fruition.

“Our schedule is now complete starting with a trip to Billingham Synthonia FC on July 9. I was keen to find step 6 opposition for our first friendly fixture and when I was informed of Billingham Synthonia's financial troubles, I felt it was important that as the local professional club we helped in some way by sending a strong team.

“We hope both sets of supporters can turn up in their numbers to put some pennies in the coffers as it were.

“We will not be taking any revenue from the gate for either of our away friendlies.”