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Boss looking forward to Irish trip

14 June 2013

Bantams boss Phil Parkinson believes it was a pretty simple decision for him to make when it came to deciding to bring his squad back to the Republic of Ireland as part of their pre-season programme.

After returning to training at the start of July, Parkinson's men will set off for their week-long stay in Ireland in an exactly one month's time (14 July 2013) in a bid to step up their preparations for the 2013/2014 campaign.

City will be staying at the same hotel and using the same training facilities as they did for last summer's highly successful tour of the Emerald Isle.

During their time in the country, City will also be taking part in two friendlies fixtures against Irish opposition. Although the opponents can't be confirmed as of yet, it is believed the games will be played on the Tuesday (16 July 2013) and the Saturday (20 July).

For Parkinson, next month's trip to Ireland will be his third as a manager after also taking Charlton Athletic across the Irish Sea during his time at The Valley.

With the Ireland trip set to play a key part in City's summer schedule, Parkinson explained why he is such a big fan of using the country in his pre-season plans.

Parkinson said: "I like Ireland. Travelling-wise, it is handy because it isn't too far for the players to go. That is important - if you go too far out, it can take a full day to get there and then you might need another day or so for the players to get back up to speed afterwards.

"With Ireland though, we can get there, hit the ground running and get almost straight into the training sessions. It is also close enough for some of our supporters to come over and watch the games. The support we received during last year's tour was certainly appreciated.

"Secondly, if you go to somewhere like Spain or Portugal at this time of year the weather can be so hot that it can be difficult to put on intense sessions and get the quality of training that you need.

"The third key aspect for me is that we will go to Ireland in the middle of their season. The two main Irish leagues are played over the spring, summer and autumn months, so the players out there will be match-fit when we go over.

"That means the intensity of the games are normally quite good and it can give you a more realistic match challenge. 

"The base where we will be staying at again is a good venue and should allow us to give the lads another week of hard work."

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