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Southend United to face the Real deal
SOUTHEND United have confirmed they will be heading to Madrid later this month as part of their preparations for next season.
Blues’ squad will spend four days in Spain, playing against Real Madrid’s C team and Rayo Vallecano B.
And manager Paul Sturrock is delighted to again be taking his team on tour, following their pre-season trip to Scotland last summer.
“It’s something I’ve always liked doing and I’m really pleased everything has now been sorted out for us to go to Madrid,” said Sturrock.
“It’s good to have a change of scenery and it’s good for team spirit too because it enables our new players to mix in with the players we already have at the football club.”
Blues leave for Madrid on Friday, July 27, and play their first game against Madrid C the following day at their Valdebebas-based training facilities, kicking off 10am.
Southend then play Rayo Vallecano on the Sunday at their training complex, kicking off at 7pm. And boss Sturrock is expecting two tough tests.
“We have two games against world class players,” added Sturrock. “These teams have seen players come through them who have gone on to win World Cups and European Championships, so that says everything about how strong they are.”
Real Madrid C play in the fourth tier of the Spanish League while Rayo Vallecano B are in the third.
Sturrock has also been putting his squad through their paces at the club’s Boots & Laces training ground.
The squad reported back for fitness tests over the weekend before beginning their training schedule yesterday.
“Everyone has come back in good shape and good spirits,” said Sturrock. “We have a lot of hard work ahead of us though because this is a very important time of the year.”
Blues begin their pre-season campaign this Saturday when they host Premier League newcomers West Ham United at Roots Hall, kick-off 3pm.