Cardiff City’s new-look squad will head to Scotland on Sunday for a week of training and team bonding as Steve Morison ramps up his side’s pre-season preparations.
The Bluebirds have been incredibly active in the transfer window, bringing in eight signings, more than any other club in the division, as they attempt to fill the void left by 10 contracts expiring this summer. There are also new faces on the coaching staff, too, with Graham Stack, the new goalkeeping coach, and Patrick Wilson, who has been appointed head of physical performance, also now on Morison’s backroom team.
The huge squad overhaul, though, means this group of players bears little resemblance to the one at the tail end of last season and the club are taking the opportunity to head up to Edinburgh in order for the new players to get to know their new team-mates and coaches better before pre-season games begin.
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The Bluebirds head up to Edinburgh Oriam, Scotland’s national performance centre for sport, which is based at Heriot-Watt University’s Riccarton campus. The facility in the west of the city is used by the Scottish Rugby Union, the Scottish Football Association and Hearts.
Cardiff will play no games while on the trip and will simply undergo training before being given next weekend off. They will then have a full week’s build-up, back at their Vale of Glamorgan HQ, before their packed pre-season fixture schedule kicks off.
All eight new signings will be heading north for the trip, while Cardiff are hopeful a couple more new faces will be present if deals can get over the line before they set off on Sunday.
The club are keen to get as fully-formed squad as possible before their pre-season starts against against Cambridge United on Saturday, July 9. It is understood two centre-backs, two midfielders and a striker are on the wish list.
Cardiff are planning and recruiting for the time being as though Gareth Bale is not coming and should he join, it will very much be viewed as a huge bonus to supplement the squad. Bale is on holiday until mid-July anyway, so pre-season will largely go ahead without him even if he does decide to sign for his home-town club.
But there is a real push behind the scenes to get a good pre-season campaign under their belts to give Cardiff the best opportunity to hit the ground running against Norwich City, a tough test on the first day of the season, on July 30.
Cardiff have started the last three seasons poorly and have relied on positive end-of-season form to finish strongly. Morison and his staff hope the trip to Scotland, coupled with a, by and large, fully-formed squad for all six pre-season games will go some way to giving them the best opportunity of starting the season well.
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