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EDS step up pre-season preparations

PREPARATION TIME: Paul Harsley and his EDS coaching team are stepping their planning ahead of the new campaign

PREPARATION TIME: Paul Harsley and his EDS coaching team are stepping their planning ahead of the new campaign

City’s EDS squad will step up preparations ahead of the new season by jetting out for a training camp in Croatia this weekend.

Together with City’s Under-18s, Paul Harsley’s young charges will spend a week in Croatia building on the valuable work undertaken in their first two weeks since returning for pre-season at the CFA.

The EDS boss is overseeing a largely new-look group this term with a host of 17 and 18-year old players making the step up from Under-18 level.

And by way of further preparation, once the EDS squad return to Manchester, Harsley and his coaching staff have drawn up a schedule designed to try and prepare the players for some of the challenges they will face once the season proper kicks in.

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After returning from Croatia the City youngsters will then step up preparations by travelling north of the border for a friendly with Celtic.

That’s then followed by a trip to Spain to take on Atletico Madrid and Harsley says the two fixtures will act as an ideal dress rehearsal for the season proper for the EDS squad.

“We’ve had a really good two weeks back here at the CFA and now we’re looking forward to flying out to Croatia for a week’s training,” Harsley said.

“Both the EDS and Under-18 squads are going so it will be a big group of players and we will also have a friendly while we are over there.

“After Croatia we come back and then travel to play Celtic on July 27th and then we go to Atletico Madrid on August 3rd and then the following week it’s the start of the PL 2 season.

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“The reason we have gone for those two games is to try and prepare the players for what is coming this season.

“We’ve got a whole new squad of 17 and 18-year-old boys so with the Celtic game the plan is to try and replicate a Premier League 2 away match.

“Even though it’s in Scotland in effect it will be like a longer PL 2 away game what with the preparations, the travel and what-have you.

“Then we thought it would be a good idea if we tried to prepare as if we were in a Champions League away fixture so we decided to go to Spain.

“The trip to Madrid will give us a dry run in Europe. It will give us a good pointer too in terms of whether we adjust again, as we will get valuable feedback from the players and coaching staff.

“The travel, preparing for that next level and exposing them to different experiences. It's exciting for all of the lads.

“We know we will be very young this season, but we push them on early and now it’s about managing this next bit of their journey.

“And the next few weeks will be the perfect way to test out what’s coming once the season proper begins.”

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