Hearts plan winter trip to southern Spain

A general view of the Marbella Football Centre in Spain.A general view of the Marbella Football Centre in Spain.
A general view of the Marbella Football Centre in Spain.
Hearts are planning to hold a training camp in southern Spain during the Scottish Premiership’s winter break, the Evening News can reveal.

Discussions are taking place over a six or seven-night stay at a quiet location in the Marbella region in mid-January. The main purpose of the trip will be warm-weather training for players to prepare them for the second half of the season.

Team management feel a change of scenery and climate could help refresh the squad, although as it stands friendly matches are not expected to be part of the itinerary.

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Hearts undertook January training camps near Valencia in 2018 and Murcia in 2019 under former manager Craig Levein. They intend to travel slightly further south this time to base themselves near the southern Spanish coast.

Robbie Neilson’s side have made an impressive start to the 2021/22 campaign since gaining promotion back to the Premiership. The first round of fixtures ended with Wednesday’s 1-1 draw at McDiarmid Park and Hearts remain unbeaten in the league so far.

They want to continue that form between now and the winter break, which begins after the Edinburgh derby against Hibs at Easter Road on Monday, January 3.

The Premiership then shuts down for just over three weeks. Clubs resume competitive matches when the Scottish Cup fourth round starts on the weekend of Saturday, January 22, followed by midweek league matches the following week.

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Some other top-flight teams are also expected to jet off for warm-weather training in January and Hearts will use their trip to hone players’ fitness and conditioning.

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