Monday, 7 July 2014

A busy July schedule for Cherries

The Cherries pre-season really gets up a head of steam in the next few days. They have a five-day training at Bad Waltersdorf in Austria, which they fly out to on 8 July, and will face FC Copenhagen on 11 July at the Vulkanlandarena in Austria. Matches against Salisbury Town (or Eastleigh FC I am hearing today), Dorchester, Southampton and Portsmouth follow and there are games against Swansea and Oxford in the first two days of August. The Development squad will also have a full fixture list as they prepare for their season in their mini league.
AFCB players at the Valley last season. I think AFCB's new
pitch will turn out a lot better than this, but even Dean Court
has had drainage problems so a higher profile will be given to the pitch. 

During July the players will be clocking up the miles and have plenty of minutes on the pitch to get ready for their first league match against Huddersfield Town. It will be good when all the talking and training is over and the players can just go out and do their thing. But I find this period very exciting as you know that the team is working hard and will be in public view again very soon. What I don't like is the thought of injuries and strains but it's all part of the game and it is very rare for any squad to have everyone available for their first game.

I am desperate to know how the team will line up for that initial game and we will have to analyse what Eddie Howe does in the next few weeks in these pre-season friendlies with his line ups. While the goal keeper and first choice back four almost pick themselves there will be a decision to make at centre back as to who to leave out and the options for the top half of the team will see more intense competition this coming season.

I see the Southampton, Portsmouth and Swansea games as the key matches for the Cherries in the upcoming period of games. They will be tough games and the two derby games will perhaps have a bit of bite to them whereas the Swansea match should be a littered with great passing moves. We are getting nearer to kick-off. UTCIAD!

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