Preston North End are off to Spain for a week in pre-season and supporters have the opportunity to watch the Lilywhites abroad at last.
North End will be put through their paces in a one-week training camp, based on the outskirts of Alicante. Getafe CF are the friendly opponents and will provide a solid test for Ryan Lowe’s men.
With it not long to wait now, below is a mini-guide for those heading over – or planning to head over – to Spain next month.
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It’s Friday, 8 July to Thursday, 14 July. Travel will obviously take up a reasonable chunk of those two days and the squad will want to familiarize themselves with the resort on the Friday. The Saturday, Sunday and Monday should really build PNE up to the game on Tuesday, as they go from facing Bamber Bridge to a La Liga side in the space of 10 days. North End only have five friendslies this year, so they will want to get as much as they can out of these games, ahead of an earlier Championship start.
It’s the Real Club de Golf Campoamor Resort, which is based in Orihuela – a city located at the foot of the Sierra de Orihuela mountains.
You only have to take a look at a few photos to be impressed by the facility. The gardens and golf courses are stunning and the general scenery is to behold. And while sports – golf and tennis mainly – are the key focus here, there is everything else you would associate with a summer holiday location. There are swimming pools, bars, balconies and restaurants. You can stay at the facility for around £ 50/60 a night.
In terms of nearby, there isn’t a great deal on paper but enough to get out and have a look at. The town of San Miguel de Salinas is around a 10 minute drive away, while Las Filipinas is around a 20 minute walk. The former is the bigger of the two but there are plenty of places to eat and drink in the latter – which is directly in between the golf resort PNE are staying, and the Club de Golf Villamartin. The coastal city of Torrevieja is around a 20-25 minute drive away.
Liverpool, CSKA Moscow, Coventry, Eintracht Frankfurt, Poland, Hull City, Gent and Wolves are just a handful of clubs listed to have stayed at Campoamor. Union Berlin are understood to have taken 500+ fans there last year.
Address:Av. Conde de Barcelona, 12, 03189 Dehesa de Campoamor, Alicante, Spain
In short, it does not look the easiest place to get to. From Alicante airport, you are looking at a 45-60 minute drive which is going to set you back a bit – whether it’s a taxi or hire car. Shuttle services to the facility have seemed to be unavailable in recent years, but one encouragement is that ‘paid airport shuttle’ is listed on the website now – so that is definitely something to explore.
Over 100 PNE fans are believed to be booked on two hired coaches from Benidorm, which is some effort. Benidorm is extremely easy to get to from Alicante – it’s around an hour but Beniconnect’s service is a cheap and cheerful way to get there from the airport. Once there, however, it’s a fair trip back through Alicante and over to the resort. Maps suggest it’s around one hour 20 minutes, so a big coach of supporters is a great idea. For anyone considering staying elsewhere, Alicante itself is a lovely city while Murcia and Cartegena are under an hour away from the training camp.
Getafe finished 15th in La Liga last season – three points behind 12th but just one point clear of relegated Granada in 18th. It’s back-to-back 15th placed finishes for the Spanish side – a drop off from 5th in 2018/19 and 8th in 2019/20. Getafe lost their first seven league games last year and had to wait until the 12th match for a win. They kept their heads above water and just about recovered from that disastrous start
Quique Sanchez Florez will be remembered from two spells in charge of Watford, but the Spaniard has had 12 separate jobs as a football manager. He managed Valencia, Atletico Madrid, Benfica and Getafe a remarkable three times – in 2004-05, 2015 and 2021-present. He replaced Michel on October 6th and Getafe soon went on a needed run of just one loss in 10 – which included a win over Real Madrid.
The captain of a predominantly Spanish squad is experienced Togolese defender Djené, who has been at Getafe since 2017. Turkish striker Enas Unal ended the season as top scorer, with 15, while David Soria, Damian Suarez and Nemanja Maksimovic were first-team regulars.
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