End of Summer in Spain for UK football teams

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01-09-06

Only a few weeks before the Premiership season kicked off in the UK, the HI Group Sport and Travel division were busy working with both Watford and Bolton in preparation for their grueling assault on the Premiership.

End of Summer in Spain for UK football teamsWatford FC returned with us for the second successive year. Again they chose to travel to Denmark where we have excellent camps. We also have very good relationships with many of the local teams as they are frequent visitors to our training facilities in Spain.

The team were based at the training ground of Super league team Horsens, and stayed at a wonderful hotel only a few minutes from the ground. Due to the later start of the UK Premiership, compared to the Danish campaign, arranging a friendly match for Watford proved difficult. However Horsens, who were well into their programme, agreed to play a friendly game against a very confident and buoyant Watford team. Watford’s confidence was well placed, and they came through to win 4-1 against a young Super league outfit.

They team returned home after a hard, but thoroughly enjoyable week, to meet Inter Milan the following day. The training in Denmark obviously had the desired effect, as they came away with a very creditable 1-1 draw.

Last to arrive in Spain for the summer season was Bolton Wanderers. The well established Premiership team returned to Spain with the HI Group for the third time. This time they were playing in a very strong tournament in Huelva, very close to the Portuguese border, at a new venue called the Rompido Golf and Spa Hotel.

They arrived at the beginning of August for a week long training camp at this superb facility, with the guarantee of 2 excellent games against very good opposition. The tournament consisted of Primera La Liga’s new boys Recreativo Huelva, Sporting Lisbon and UEFA Champions Sevilla.

The first game was against local team Huelva playing at their home ground. The home advantage and local support gave Huelva the advantage as they took a 2 –0 lead. However two great finishes from Kevin Nolan brought the game back on equal footing, only to see Huelva score in the last minute to win the game 3-2.

The result against Huelva drew Bolton against UEFA Cup winners Sevilla in the next game. Fabiano, Sevilla’s Brazilian striker was too good for Bolton on the night, and bagged himself a hat-trick. No further goals meant that Sevilla won 3-0. The tough competition in Portugal seems to have helped Bolton towards a good start in the league, which we hope continues throughout the season.

I wish all of our teams the very best of luck and hope to see you again soon, perhaps in the International breaks ahead.

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