Southampton’s Executive Director of Football Les Reed has given an insight into how the club's pre-season plans are developing.
With Saints’ qualification for the group stages of the Europa League confirmed, following a sixth-placed finish and Manchester United's victory over Crystal Palace in the FA Cup final, Reed has explained that firm details are close to being finalised.
“You can do very little planning until you know where you are in that context,” he told youtube.com/southamptonfc. “Last season we were playing Europa League qualifying matches while we still had friendlies to play, and essentially we were still in training camp.
“We’ve been planning for quite some time with regards to pre-season camps and pre-season training, but everything has been on hold and now we’re able to start confirming things, particularly the second half of the pre-season, where we will have a training camp, we’ll be able to complete that and get back and prepare for the European games and the start the season in a much more logical fashion than last season.”
Reed added: “That first part is difficult because you’ve got players returning from the EUROs – you don’t know when they’re going to get knocked out of the competition, so you don’t know when their break’s going to start – and then you've got the Europa League, where you are waiting on the qualification stage.
“We’ve penciled in a training camp early in pre-season, which will probably be a young squad with the players who don’t play in the EUROs. That’s likely to be in the US – it's not confirmed yet, but it would be a short, sharp trip, probably a week.
“Then, as the players return from EUROs duty, it will be back in full training at Staplewood and then probably the Dutch camp we did last year, which makes planning easy because you've done it before, you know the venue – that makes it a lot easier.
“Now we know our fate in the Europa League we can start to nail those things down. We’re now at the stage where training camps are okay, we know what the dates are going to be and who is coming back when. Now it’s confirming things like pre-season friendlies and so on, and the build-up to the season.”