Barker rules out summer tour

Pompey boss Richie Barker Picture: Joe Pepler
Pompey boss Richie Barker Picture: Joe Pepler

Richie Barker has ruled out a summer jaunt for his Pompey squad.

The Blues have jetted off for pre-season training camps to the USA and Spain in recent years, but stayed closer to home for a trip to Five Lakes in Colchester last summer.

Barker’s men, however, will not be needing their passports again as the Pompey boss told them to expect a pre-season unlike anything else they will have experienced.

‘For the players that are here, it will be the hardest pre-season they will have ever had,’ said Barker.

‘I’m not a big fan of going away anywhere, although if we do, it won’t be very enjoyable for the players.

‘I don’t think they will like it very much.

‘I’ve never taken a team away in pre-season. I’m not a fan of it.

‘But if we get the opportunity, it will be somewhere in England.

‘The weather is alright in June and July.

‘So I don’t know why we have to go anywhere.

‘Why would you go to the Costa del Sol where you can’t train until 8pm because of the heat?

‘Everybody thinks they are on holiday and lies by the pool.

‘That’s not what it’s about.

‘At some football clubs, you take your golf clubs and, by the way, don’t forget your sombrero.

‘We’ll be having none of that.’

While Barker will organise the whole training and fixture schedule for pre-season, he is keen to ensure Pompey achieve League Two safety first.

He said: ‘Sorting out pre-season will wait until we are safe.

‘But I will organise the training schedule and all of the fixtures.’