Portsmouth boss gives lowdown on Ireland stay as players fly to Dublin for camp

It’s a well-trodden path for Kenny Jackett.

Sunday, 7th July 2019, 2:07 pm
Updated Sunday, 7th July 2019, 8:54 pm

And the Pompey boss believes his side’s Irish training camp offers them the perfect base to step up their pre-season preparations.

The Blues today flew out to Ireland where they will spend this week gearing up for the campaign ahead.

Pompey will be based at the Portmarnock Hotel overlooking the Irish Sea, 10 miles from the centre of Dublin.

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Pompey are back in training. Picture: Habibur Rahman

It’s a venue used by the Republic of Ireland national squad, as well as age-group sides.

And it’s a setting Jackett knows all about after previously taking his squad there when with Wolves.

Ireland is a destination he has also visited in pre-season with Millwall, while Pompey stayed in Cork a year ago.

With a game against UCD to come on Wednesday, Jackett feels it offers everything his side need to have as they build on a return to work which has been based at their Roko training base.

Pompey during pre-season training in Cork last year

He said: ‘We’re really looking forward to the trip.

‘There will be some beach runs which is good for us and there’s good training pitches there.

‘We’re looking forward to it and all the group going there.

‘We were down at Cork in the south last year, but this one is 20 minutes outside of Dublin.

‘It’s one we’ve been to before and we know the set-up of it.

‘Ireland don’t train there anymore but the Irish squad used to and different age groups still do from time to time.

‘It’s an area we know, the hotel’s fine and the pitch is fine.

‘On top of that we can get out on beach runs which is really good.

‘Some days will be double sessions and there’s a decent gym with the facilities.

‘With the coastline there and the gym there’s the option to put the doubles on when you need to.’

With a number of new faces already through the door at Pompey, the Ireland training camp offers an obvious advantage for players to settle in after moving to the club.

New boy Ross McCrorie will fly from Glasgow to Dublin after returning north on Friday after completing his season-long loan stay from Rangers.

And Ronan Curtis is expected to link up with his new squad after being afforded some extra time off after international duty with Republic of Ireland at the end of the campaign.

Jackett added: ‘It’s quite traditional in England to go away on a pre-season tour.

‘If you look at teams abroad they do it as well.

‘They go away when they have a mid-season break as well, while we cram a few more games into that period.

‘I do think it helps in terms of bonding and in terms of integration for new players.

‘Getting out of an environment we’ll perhaps be in for 10 months helps.

‘It is traditional and beneficial in terms of team spirit and getting to know each other.

‘But it’s also about setting down some standards and markers for the time ahead. There’s a big season ahead.’