Last summer a 26 man Newcastle United squad flew to Ireland for a pre-season training camp.
Now it is reported that Rafa Benitez was impressed with the success of that spell in Ireland in terms of bringing the squad. new and established players, together and he is going to repeat it in advance of the Premier League campaign.
The Chronicle say they understand the United boss doesn’t intend to travel far in pre-season, with only possibly the odd friendly on the continent as well a number of them in the UK.
The Newcastle squad flew out on Saturday 9 July 2016 for a one week training camp in County Kildare, which then culminated in a friendly against Bohemian on Saturday 16 July.
They then returned to Tyneside and as well as training, they had the usual round of pre-season friendlies, including just the one at St James Park.
Players are due to report back for pre-season training on Monday 3 July this time and after spending a week in preparation, are likely to then once again fly off a week later to a training camp away from it all.
The Premier League kicks off on the weekend of 12 August this season, so it give Rafa Benitez an extra week of preparation time compared to a year ago.
With significant changes in personnel, both out and in, the United boss will need every bit of time to help prepare for a crucial campaign.
As for pre-season friendlies, nothing confirmed yet, but the Chronicle claim that one away at Bradford is already planned.