Home is where the start is for Blues next season

Pompey line up before their pre-season friendly in Gibraltar last summer
Pompey line up before their pre-season friendly in Gibraltar last summer

Pompey will look to home comforts as they plan for pre-season.

Guy Whittingham insists forays abroad are a thing of the past for the Blues as they make their plans for the start of the 2013-14 campaign.

America, South Africa, Hong Kong, Nigeria, France and Spain are some of the far-reaching destinations the club have been to in recent years to prepare for a new season.

Whittingham believes a training camp will be crucial, but, in times of austerity for Pompey, it will be on these shores.

He said: ‘We thought about pre-season about two months ago.

‘One or two of the clubs we have gone to have said they haven’t even thought about it yet. But we are trying to put things in place.

‘Unless we can find someone to pay all the expenses, we won’t be going to America again for a while – and not even Spain for a while.

‘I think it’s vitally important to have a trip away, though.

‘You need to get away to build that camaraderie, otherwise people are coming in, training and then going home.

‘I think you need that week at least, where you are together as a group and people get to know each other.

‘I think that is important.’

Pompey have looked to the West Country as a pre-season option in years gone by, but Whittingham feels there are plenty of avenues to explore.

He said: ‘I’ve been down the West Country with a few teams.

‘But there are all sorts of places opening up for use now.

‘You look at the colleges and universities and the facilities they have now. They are second to none. So there’s opportunities opening up all over the place.

‘We’ve found out about a couple of options.

‘At the end of the day it will come down to cost.’