BARNSLEY: Reds men face a long, hot week in the sun

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BARNSLEY’s players will be put through their paces today on the first day of their intensive Spanish training camp.

The Reds jetted to Marbella yesterday for their annual week-long training camp at the five-star Benahavis Football Training Centre.

And manager Keith Hill has stressed it won’t be a relaxing week for his players at their plush resort in the hillside 15 minutes from the coast.

Far from it in fact. Hill is going to push his squad, which includes his four summer signings, to the limit in southern Spain.

“It’s definitely not a holiday, we’re going there to work,” Hill told The Star.

“The camp worked well last season and I feel we’re going there this time with a head start.

“They have come back to pre-season looking fit, they’ve worked hard with their summer fitness programmes.

“We’re in Spain for a week and it will be a good chance for us to work with the team on a lot of things and to work with players individually.

“The players have shown great discipline to come back for pre-season in great shape. We’re going to build on that and keep pushing them.”

The next six days, before a flight home on Sunday, will test the Reds’ players pyhsically and mentally, although Hill and his assistant boss David Flitcroft are well aware of the testing temperatures which his team will have to cope with as well.

And that’s why double sessions each day will be broken up by rest time when the climate is at it’s hottest.

Hill is confident the camp will be a good way of integrating his new players with members of last year’s playing staff.

Former Manchester City midfielder Kelvin Etuhu, ex-Chelsea and Sheffield United midfielder Jacob Mellis, former Tottenham striker Mido and goalkeeper Ben Alnwick have all joined the Reds in the close-season.

“It’s a good chance for everyone to gel together,” said Hill.

“It’s important the new players take advantage of the training camp. There’s an obvious difference in the fitness of the new lads and the rest of the players who had summer programmes to follow.”