BARNSLEY boss Keith Hill and his squad jet to Spain today for an intensive week-long training camp.
And Hill has stressed anyone looking for a holiday will be sorely mistaken with seven days of hard graft in store for the Reds’ players.
The injured Luke Potter is staying at Oakwell to continue his rehabilitation following last season’s knee surgery.
But as well as taking his senior players, Hill is also taking a string of youngsters to give them the chance to impress before the club’s opening pre-season fixture, away to Hibernian on Saturday July 16.
Midfielder/forward Reuben Noble-Lazarus, centre-back Kern Miller, right-back John Stones, midfielder Alistair Taylor and striker Danny Rose are all part of the Reds’ squad set for some hard work in the sun.
“We’re going to be doing a lot of hard work, it’s going to be a really professional week of working hard on fitness and strategy,” Hill told The Star.
“We’ve done quite a bit of fitness work already, we’ve have five exceptional days of training which has been pleasing. We’ve also done a little bit of work on strategy in training and I’m starting to put my identity on the team.
“I’ve had a great response from the players, it’s been very pleasing.
“Physically it’s been very demanding and it will get tougher when we go to Spain, but this training camp and the rest of pre-season is very important to us.
“I’ve got a great group of players who I’m very happy with - and a nice blend of youngsters.
“We’re not going to have any mavericks in the team and I’m sure after this trip and the Hibernian game I’ll have a much better idea of what advances we’ve made and what else we need to work on.”
The Reds are expected to train in hot conditions in Benavista, near Marbella, their base for the next seven days before returning to the UK in readiness for their opening match of pre-season.
And Hill admits he’s slowing been “drip feeding” his players with the information they need to perform to the high standards he expects.
“We’ve still got a long way to go until the start of the season but this trip is going to help with team-bonding and it will be good for the squad,” added Hill. “The new players have already started settling in, that happens naturally, but the trip will help as well because we’ll be living in each others pockets for a week before we come back and play Hibernian.”
Hill has yet to name a new captain following the departure of Jason Shackell to Derby County, but the 42-year-old has stressed once again that’s he’s in no rush to appoint a leader.