Oxford United to hold open training sessions for fans in Marbella

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Oxford United’s players take part in a training session during their trip to Wimborne last year. Picture: OUFC
Oxford United’s players take part in a training session during their trip to Wimborne last year. Picture: OUFC

OXFORD United will hold open training sessions for fans to watch during the club’s pre-season trip to Marbella.

United will not play any fixtures while in Spain but are providing the opportunity for supporters to join them by having two open training sessions.

The U’s didn’t go abroad during the pandemic, instead taking part in training camps in South Wales in 2020, and Dorset last year.

While further details on the club’s pre-season, including friendlies, remain unconfirmed, head coach Karl Robinson said the players would be faced with a ‘strong schedule’ during their eight days in southern Spain.

READ AGAIN: Oxford United to go abroad for pre-season training camp

“We’re going to have two open training sessions which fans can come and watch,” he said.

“We understand it’s always been a destination for people to watch their team play.

“With travel restrictions still difficult, we don’t want people to miss out.

“It’ll be difficult for the players, there will be a strong schedule.”

The trip to Marbella marks the start of pre-season for United, and will coincide with work taking place at the club’s training ground, including new pitches and upgrades to the main building.

Robinson said: “There is extensive work being carried out and a complete facelift on the buildings at the Bangkok Glass Training Centre, so we planned to be away for the first week, from June 23, and that gives the team behind the scenes a little extra time to prepare the pitches and get everything right for when we return.

“The first pre-season game will hopefully be a couple of days after we get back and the league fixture list is announced the day we leave, so by the time we get back we will really be focused.

“Meanwhile the hard work continues as we look at recruitment and players.

“The next few weeks will fly past but we know what we have to do and we know we will be ready.”

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Following pre-season camps in Wales and Dorset in the last two years, Robinson said it was important to go abroad for the first time since a trip to Portugal in 2019.

“We have seen the facilities, which are fantastic, and we know we will be well looked after,” said Robinson.

“The players have a slightly longer summer break than we have had for the last two years and I think everyone probably needed that because it has been very intense and they have given us absolutely everything.

“It’s the first chance we have had to go abroad for three years – we had training camps in Wales and Bournemouth but getting to Spain is important, to be away from everything else, and able to focus purely on testing, preparing and doing the right things with the sports science team of Chris Neville and Harry Routledge.”

In 2020, the U’s stayed in Wales for five days, and last summer, booked a training camp in Spain but that fell through amid uncertainty over international travel at the time.

Instead, the club went to Dorset and trained in Wimborne, near Bournemouth.

The 2022/23 Sky Bet League One season begins on the final weekend of July, seven days earlier than normal, due to the World Cup taking place in winter for the first time.

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