Newcastle United confirm preferred pre-season Portugal camp binned in favour of Yorkshire

Newcastle United have confirmed their possible pre-season trip to Portugal has been binned in favour of a return to Queen Ethelburga's Collegiate campus in the Yorkshire countryside.

Thursday, 1st July 2021, 3:20 pm
Steve Bruce, Manager of Newcastle United applauds fans despite being booed after the Premier League match between Newcastle United and Sheffield United at St. James Park on May 19, 2021 in Newcastle upon Tyne, England. A limited number of fans will be allowed into Premier League stadiums as Coronavirus restrictions begin to ease in the UK. (Photo by Stu Forster/Getty Images)
Steve Bruce, Manager of Newcastle United applauds fans despite being booed after the Premier League match between Newcastle United and Sheffield United at St. James Park on May 19, 2021 in Newcastle upon Tyne, England. A limited number of fans will be allowed into Premier League stadiums as Coronavirus restrictions begin to ease in the UK. (Photo by Stu Forster/Getty Images)

Magpies’ head coach Steve Bruce had been keen to take his United squad away for a few days in the Portuguese sun – but Covid travel restrictions have meant the plan was shelved.

And instead United will make the shorter trip to Yorkshire in the week prior to their return to pre-season action against York City and Harrogate Town on Sunday, July 18.

In a statement on the club website, United confirmed they will head to Queen Ethelburga’s on Monday, July 12.

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The camp will be closed to the public and United will NOT play any friendlies on the site.

Of the announcement, Bruce said: "I firmly believe that for any team it's always vital to have a training camp away from the familiar surroundings of your training ground and once it became clear that the current Covid-19 restrictions would make travelling abroad extremely difficult, there was only one choice in my eyes.

"The facilities at Queen Ethelburga's are first class and I was delighted with everything last year, from the hotel accommodation to the pitches and everything in between, so we're really looking forward to going back there."

United’s squad return to first-team training next week, with testing starting on Monday and a full return for players at the club’s Benton training base slated for Wednesday.

Newcastle’s Premier League opener against West Ham (h) is on Sunday, August 15.