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Blues return for pre-season training

28 June 2021

The cricket season is in full swing and England are still keeping the nation on tenterhooks at the European Championship.

But Pompey’s thoughts have already turned to the 2021/22 campaign with a return to Copnor Road for the start of pre-season training.

Plenty of players left the club at the end of last term and Danny Cowley is only partway through his transfer activity.

So a host of trialists were on display to help make up the numbers and try to impress the eagle-eyed Blues boss.

Ronan Curtis was absent, with the forward not scheduled to return until later in the week after seeing his season extended by Republic of Ireland international duty.

And with the first day of training coinciding with his wedding, it was only fair for Ryan Tunnicliffe to also be given permission to miss out.

Fellow summer signings Shaun Williams, Clark Robertson and Liam Vincent were all present, however, to meet their new team-mates.

"Seeing the boys again and the footballs rolling about was lovely. It’s one of my favourite days of the year."

Danny Cowley

Michael Jacobs trained separately from the rest of the group, as he steps up his recovery from the knee problem that kept him sidelined for the conclusion of the previous campaign.

Ellis Harrison had also missed the run-in, so it was pleasing to see the striker back out on the turf again and in good spirits.

Pre-season training used to conjure up images of running miles and miles up and down hills, but – after a quick warm-up – Cowley brought the footballs out.

There were plenty of passing drills and small-sides games, as the squad gear up for the start of the friendly programme before heading off to the gym for a workout.

“It was great to be back,” said Cowley. “We were surprised to see the sun was shining because the weather was pretty treacherous on Sunday night.

“Seeing the boys again and the footballs rolling about was lovely. It’s one of my favourite days of the year.”

There is plenty more hard work to be undertaken before that all-important trip to Fleetwood on August 7.

And with fans hopefully allowed to flock back to Fratton Park soon after, everyone is focused on reaching tip-top condition.

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