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Bradford City boss Phil Parkinson hails a tour-ific week in Ireland
Phil Parkinson reckons City’s week in Ireland has been worth a month of training at home.
The Bantams bring their time away to an end this afternoon when they face Irish top-flight side Bray Wanderers before flying back from Dublin tomorrow.
And Parkinson has rated the trip – City’s first off the mainland since 2001 – as a huge success.
The City chief knew what to expect after bringing Charlton over three years ago and believes the club will reap the rewards from their stay at the Johnstown House hotel complex in Enfield.
He said: “The training camp has gone very well. It was good to get all the lads together for a week of intensive work.
“We can monitor everything they do, whether it’s on the pitches or what they are eating. We make sure they are doing everything professionally.
Phil ParkinsonThe lads also get to know each other so much better. We know how important that is because we’re going to have to rely on each other during a long and tough season, which it undoubtedly will be
“It’s a good venue and the pitches are excellent. There’s obviously been plenty of rain this summer so the ground has got a lot of give in it, which is ideal.”
For the new-look squad, it has also been a valuable team-bonding exercise. With eight new signings as well as youngsters like Adam Baker and second-year trainee Forrayah Bass, Parkinson hopes the time under the same roof will engender a strong team spirit.
He added: “It’s given the new lads that chance to bed in and they’ve all settled well. You need to get the group together when you bring so many in.
“There has been a massive turnover in the squad. When you look at the 20 or so we’ve got over here, not many of them were at the club last year.
“There are just so many benefits from getting away for a period like this.
“Pre-season is such an important time but when you’ve got five or so weeks at the training ground, working morning and afternoon can become a bit monotonous.
“Coming away breaks the routine and we can get extra work into the players by having them here all the time. There are no distractions.
“The lads also get to know each other so much better. We know how important that is because we’re going to have to rely on each other during a long and tough season, which it undoubtedly will be.
“Even with the new physio (Matt Barrass), it is really useful. There is no better way for him to feel part of it and get to know everyone.
“A week with the lads here is probably worth a month back at the training ground. There are so many pluses.”
City will wear their new gold away kit for the first time at Bray today. Alan Connell makes his first start after coming off the bench at Wexford and will partner Nahki Wells up front.