Sheffield United: Blades turn up the heat as they head to Malta

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DANNY Wilson, the Sheffield United manager, has revealed his team are ready to push themselves through the pain barrier in an effort to take League One by storm next season.

Last season’s beaten play-off finalists will once again prepare for a new campaign on the Mediterranean island of Malta whose tourism authority boast strong links with Bramall Lane.

Wilson said: “The intense heat means it’s never easy for the players out there.

“It’s really hard work but it’s something they are willing and happy to do.

“Hopefully you get out what you put in and we’ll use our time wisely.”

United will play two friendlies against local opposition during their week-long stay.

Negotiations with the Maltese FA have been complicated by the fact that its leading clubs, including Floriana, Hibernians and champions Valletta are involved in the qualifying rounds of the UEFA Champions and Europa Leagues.

All four are understood to be keen on hosting Wilson’s side.

The likes of Sliema Wanderers, who faced United at Ta’Qali 12 months ago, could step into the breach if the others unable to take part.

Twelve months ago, United had hoped to face a Representative XI on the neighbouring island of Gozo but those plans where shelved due to logistic problems.

Wilson said: “Malta is part of who we are as a football club and, although the training is tough, we enjoy going.”

Supporters planning to attend to trip, starting July 20, have been asked to email their details to so they can be kept informed of the various events being planned.

Meanwhile, Redtooth managing director Martin Green has spoken of his excitement at sealing a sponsorship agreement with United.

The entertainment firm’s logo will feature on United’s away shirts next term and Green, a lifelong United fan, said: “I’m delighted to be supporting my team in this way.”