Date: 30th June 2014 at 7:59am
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AFC Bournemouth manager Eddie Howe insists that his Cherries squad will enjoy their return to work as pre-season begins.

AFC Bournemouth’s preparation for a second season in the Championship begins today (Monday) as the squad return to training following fitness tests over the weekend.

The Cherries will complete a gentle pre-season programme over the course of the week, before the squad sets off for a pre-season training camp in Austria on 7th July.

The five day training camp concludes with a friendly against UEFA Champions League qualifiers FC Copenhagen of Denmark.

The side then return to England for two friendlies against non league sides Salisbury and Dorchester before hosting Premier League neighbours Southampton on 25th July.

A trip to League Two neighbours Portsmouth follows before the Cherries host another Premier League side in the form of Swansea City before ending the pre-season schedule with a trip to Oxford United.

Howe told the Daily Echo

“Times have changed in pre-season. In days gone by the players got a tough baptism when they came back to training, but now guarding against injuries is our biggest priority. We want to make sure the players get through pre-season fit and healthy.

“We’ve never done anything like running through golf courses or forests with the players, every-thing we do will be on the pitch and with the ball, which I think the players enjoy and get the most out of.

‘Very early on we’ll be testing and seeing where the lads are fitness-wise and then we’ll be slowly but surely building up their fitness levels.

“Pre-season will be a nice, slow introduction to fitness work and ball work and hopefully the players will enjoy the work that they do.”


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