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Blues Train In Ireland

Pompey put through their paces on first day of training camp

2 July 2018

World Cup fever is sweeping the nation, with fans – perhaps prematurely – predicting England’s path to the final.

But tucked away on a Fota Island hotel near Cork in the south of Ireland, the Pompey squad have more pressing concerns.

Many settled down to watch Spain dramatically dumped out of the competition following their arrival on Sunday afternoon.

And, of course, a place around the television is a must on Tuesday evening, as Gareth Southgate’s Three Lions face Colombia.

But the Blues are here to work hard and build fitness ahead of the League One opener against Luton on August 4.

They trained in warm and sunny conditions on Monday morning, although the cool breeze was a welcome change from the more stifling heat back in England.

The goalkeepers stepped aside from the rest of the group to be put through their paces under the watchful eye of coach John Keeley.

Meanwhile, the outfield players took a lap of the two pitches – which are based at the impressive resort Pompey will call home until Friday morning – and did some stretches.

Kenny Jackett was a vocal presence as the workload started to increase, with different exercises focusing on shape, set-pieces and shooting.

Brett Pitman conjured up one particularly impressive finish, which bodes well for the forthcoming campaign.

Those supporters who have travelled over will get a chance to see the squad – including five new signings – in match action this evening.

A clash with Irish Premier Division champions Cork City is the first of eight friendly encounters prior to that visit from the Hatters.

And with plenty of time booked in on the training pitches and on-site gym over the next few days, there will be no opportunity to enjoy the golf course, archery range and spa treatments.

Judging by the breakfast table conversation, though, a few moments have been found to catch up on the latest Love Island developments.


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