Hartlepool United boss: Holland trip will be great for team bonding

Mick Wadsworth
Mick Wadsworth

MICK Wadsworth knows better than most the benefits of an early pre-season tour.

The first-team coach had only been in his new role as Chris Turner’s right-hand man for a matter of days last July when the squad jetted off to Holland for their annual getaway.

Wadsworth admits that being thrust into the intensive environment of a foreign trip allowed him to find his feet in double-quick time – indeed, he was in charge of first-team affairs within six weeks.

He concedes that the timing of this year’s trip – less than a week after the players reported back for duty – will probably mean his men won’t be at their most competitive in their two friendly matches against Dutch opposition.

On the other hand, however, Wadsworth feels that summer arrivals such as Nobby Solano and Colin Nish will benefit from the boot-camp nature of the time away with their new team-mates.

“I went to Holland last year and it was my first real introduction to the squad,” he told SportMail.

“It was a great experience for me and allowed me to get to know the players and staff very quickly.

“Yes, it’s a little early to be going away and playing matches. As a result we might not be at our sharpest and the games will be difficult for us.

“But that’s not too much of a concern to be honest because I think the benefits of getting away are tremendous.

“The new lads will be left with no choice but to get to know their new team-mates and I think the players enjoy these trips at this time of year.

“Everybody is still so full of enthusiasm and catching up on the past couple of months that it’s great for bonding among the group and getting back into the rhythm of being together on a day-to-day basis.”

Full story in Tuesday’s Mail.