Busy Winter season as teams get away from the big freeze at home

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18-04-11

HI Group Sport and Travel Division have welcomed many European football and UK teams into Spain, Portugal and Tenerife as well as to our other fantastic destinations for warm weather training camps. With the heavy snow across Europe our skills, preparation and flexibility were put to the test, but we believe, from the feedback received, we did more than anyone to avoid any potential problems!

First to arrive was FC Groningen. The Dutch team returned with us for the second year running, this time using the T3 training centre in Tenerife and the amazing Vincci Plantacion del Sur. Last year the team had visited Penina in Portugal. This proved to be a great decision all as the team lost no training time due to the excellent weather in Tenerife. We arranged a superb 6 day break with the team playing Tenerife B in a friendly game which gave the 40 sponsors, who had travelled with Groningen, a wonderful Canary Islands experience! For further details of this great resort take a look at our website - click here

Hertha Berlin from the Bundesliga travelled with us for the first time this winter and chose the Algarve, staying at the beautiful Hotel Penina near Portimao. The team stressed the importance of having 2 strong friendly games and we delivered just that! Again the trip went brilliantly, as the pitch at Penina played really well, and the team got some good training sessions in ahead of their friendly games. The first of the friendly games was against Standard Liege at the Ammendoira resort, and for the second game we used the excellent stadium in Parchal to host FC Zwolle. Hertha booked immediately for the next winter!!

Marbella was the destination of our next team, the Faroe Isles National team who arrived and left in beautiful sunshine! The team were here for an International friendly we had organised with the Gibraltan FA as part of their Euro 2012 preparation. The team had a productive stay in the Gran Hotel Benahavis with Head Coach Brian Kerr, and also played a friendly against HJK Helsinki who are the Finnish Champions in a training game at MPFS Marbella.

HJK Helsinki returned for the 4th year in succession and this year trained at www.mpf-marbella.co.uk. We arranged for them to play a friendly game against the Faroe Isles whilst here, as well organising a visit to Seville to watch the la Liga game between Sevilla and FC Barcelona. The players and staff enjoyed the experience and managed to see some of the top players in action!

Newcastle United travelled with us again, and for this trip they chose the new Dunas Douradas resort in the Algarve, located in between Vale do Lobo and Quinta da Lago. This location has the best of everything; the weather and the fantastic accommodation made for an enjoyable 4 day break. The team trained daily at Vale do Lobo and also found time to enjoy golf at some of the best golf courses in the whole of Portugal.

Brighton and Hove Albion

Brighton and Hove Albion travelled with us for the second time and had a brilliant 5 days in the Melia La Quinta Hotel in Marbella. Gus Poyet returned with us yet again and celebrated a fantastic promotion with glorious weather ! The team trained at MPFS and played golf at the local courses. The team had just secured promotion to the Championship and what better way to celebrate than training in the sun, playing golf and relaxing by the pool! The board of directors also joined the group and made use of the conference facilities in the hotel to host meetings to discuss their new stadium launch and a season in the Championship!!

Sporting Clube Charleroi also travelled with us twice this winter using the Gran Hotel Benahavis and then the Hotel Sol Andalusi, the coaching staff and players were delighted with the quality of both venues but in particular mentioned the pitch at Sol Andalusi as the best they had seen!!

Results of our winter friendlies:

Groningen v Tenerife B (4- 0)
Faroes v Gibraltar (0-3)
FC Utrecht v Herenveen (1-1)
FC Utrecht v Standard Liege (1-1)
Hertha Berlin v FC Zwolle (2-1)
Hertha Berlin v Standard Liege (1-1)
HJK v Faroe Isles (3-1)

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