Five Lakes base is perfect for Pompey

Andy Barcham. Picture: Joe Pepler
Andy Barcham. Picture: Joe Pepler

Andy Barcham welcomed Pompey’s return to their Five Lakes pre-season base.

The Blues winger believes the set-up in Colchester will offer Andy Awford’s men the perfect setting to gear up for the new campaign.

But Barcham warned the club’s newcomers the infamous initiation for fresh faces will lie in wait.

Andy Awford has lined up a five-night stay in Essex to ramp up pre-season preparations for his first campaign as Pompey boss.

The Blues stayed at the same venue last season as a completely new squad was formed under Guy Whittingham.

Barcham knows there will be a chance to get some serious graft in – as well as build a sense of camaraderie.

He said: ‘We went to the same place last year and it was fantastic.

‘It’s a nice complex and it has everything there the team needs.

‘But importantly it gets the boys together.

‘That helps us to be able to bond if there are new faces.

‘It’s a chance for us to gel and become a tight group before we go into the season.

‘We are going there for a reason. We will be working on things for the season.

‘But there’s the team spirit to work on – that’s part of it.’

Last year saw players undergo a nerve-wracking X-Factor-style initiation, where they had to perform a song in front of the team.

Barcham was voted the winner of that competition and insisted there will be a similar task awaiting new recruits.

He said: ‘I’m not sure if the initiations will be as daunting as they were last year with the X-Factor singing!

‘They will come up with something just as bad, I’m sure.’