Ireland stay key for new Bradford City recruits to settle in

7:00am Thursday 5th June 2014

By Simon Parker

Phil Parkinson insists City’s pre-season week in Ireland is an essential part of his summer rebuild.

The Bantams will visit the Emerald Isle for the third year running as part of their preparations for next term.

The July training camp includes games against Dublin-based UCD and Shelbourne but Parkinson believes the most important aspect will be getting everyone together at close quarters.

With the City boss looking to revamp his squad, he wants the new recruits settled in before the season opens on August 9.

“I think it’s very important because there is going to be quite a big change-around in the squad this summer,” he said.

“It’s vital we get all those players bedded into the squad quickly and that’s why I feel the pre-season trip is so crucial.”

City have been based at Johnstown House in Enfield, just outside Dublin, for the past two years. They are relocating this time but Parkinson reckons the new facilities will be just as good.

“We’re going to a different venue, for a bit of a change more than anything, but going to Ireland serves us well,” he said.

“We did look at other options but got the chance to stay at another training base which is top quality.

“It’s reasonably cost effective and there isn’t a great deal of travel involved. You look at some of the top teams who fly off everywhere and come back absolutely shattered.

“The journey to Ireland is a short one. It’s easy to get to from Leeds-Bradford Airport and the pitches and weather are conducive for high-intensity training.

“We will be playing two friendlies as we have done in the past and I’ve always enjoyed going over there.

“The games are generally good because you are up against teams who are in the middle of their season.”

City once again kick off their warm-up campaign away to Guiseley on Saturday, July 12 – just over five weeks from now.

After the Irish tour, they play Championship outfit Blackburn in the only home friendly before rounding off at Morecambe the Saturday before the new season. They are looking to fit in one more midweek game in between.

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