HARTLEPOOL United will not be jetting off to Spain this summer, with Ronnie Moore instead taking his troops to an Army barracks for a gruelling pre-season.
Last year under Colin Cooper, Pools headed to the state-of-the-art La Cala resort in southern Spain for a week of training in the sunshine.
But this pre-season looks set to be a whole different affair under Moore, with the squad spending five days at Catterick Garrison, in North Yorkshire, undergoing intense fitness work and team bonding exercises.
Pools did not play any matches in Spain, instead spending the week on the training field, with Cooper keen to make a change after years of going over to Holland on pre-season tours.
But, after another season of struggle, Moore is favouring a different approach with a packed programme of eight pre-season matches lined up too.
And he says the squad should expect a gruelling few days as they look to boost their fitness levels ahead of the new season.
The coaching staff will be getting their hands dirty, too, as Moore looks to forge an even greater bond following the drama of the Great Escape in the final weeks of the 2014-15 campaign.
“There are no plans to go to Spain this year,” Moore revealed. “Instead we are going to Catterick.
“There will be no sunshine and I don’t understand how you can go to Spain for a pre-season.
“For me, it would have to be 14 days hard work here first and then fly over there to play a couple of games but not just to go there to do your fitness work in 28C heat, or whatever it is, from 8am until 7pm at night.
“That’s not for me.
“The lads that come in here will know they have had a pre-season as we are going to let one or two of the Army lads sort them out.
“That is what we have lined up, for about five days.
“It will be the same for everybody though and we’ll be there in the bunks too – there is no special treatment for the coaching staff.
“The players will have a lot of team games and they will have enjoyed it at the end, perhaps not during it though!”
And the 62-year-old also revealed Pools have a busy programme of pre-season fixtures set up, details of which will be announced in due course.
Moore added: “We are back in training on June 29 and we will be straight back into it.
“We will really be working on the fitness and we have eight pre-season games lined up too.
“There will be a few league clubs and local clubs, which we are looking forward to.
“But first it is about getting the new players in and getting a squad together.
“It is always an uphill battle in League Two trying to get the more experienced players in and sometimes you have to take a punt on the younger ones.”