‘The phone’s busy... we’re looking at players’ - Hurst’s recruitment drive continues in Spain

PUBLISHED: 11:06 05 July 2018 | UPDATED: 12:05 05 July 2018

Paul Hurst and his Ipswich players are currently in Spain for pre-season training. Photo: Ross Halls

Paul Hurst and his Ipswich players are currently in Spain for pre-season training. Photo: Ross Halls

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Paul Hurst continues to work on potential new signings while putting his Ipswich Town players through their paces at the club’s Spanish training camp.

Emyr Huws is with the Ipswich squad in Spain as he continues his recovery from injury. Picture: ITFCEmyr Huws is with the Ipswich squad in Spain as he continues his recovery from injury. Picture: ITFC

The Blues are nearing the end of their camp at the Pinatar Arena Football Center near Murcia, where they have been put through triple-sessions on a daily basis as Hurst looks to build his players’ base fitness heading into his first season in charge.

Hurst has already added teenager Trevoh Chalobah and winger Jordan Roberts to his squad, while former Colchester full-back Kane Vincent-Young is on trial, but continues to work on potential new recruits between sessions in Spain.

“The phone’s busy, we’re looking at players and Will (Stephenson, head of performance analysis) is out here too helping on that side of things while we also have people back home working hard,” he said in a video published by the club.

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“In truth, it never really stops but we try and focus on the training when possible and give the players the attention.

“Then, in between we get on the phone and pick up conversations to see if there’s been any progress made.”

Hurst pushed for owner Marcus Evans to cancel the club’s planned trip to Ireland, a regular fixture under former boss Mick McCarthy, and replace it with the camp in Spain, where he has enjoyed getting to know his players away from Suffolk.

“This is a tough week, three sessions starting with a run in the morning and it’s just interesting to really see people’s characters,” Hurst said.

Cole Skuse, pictured at the Blues' Spanish training camp. Picture: ITFCCole Skuse, pictured at the Blues' Spanish training camp. Picture: ITFC

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“When things are going well and things are easy, everyone can play, but I’m looking for people I can rely on when the going gets tough. Who can I rely on, who is going to go in the trenches with us? We’ll need that over the course of the season.

“This week’s training is starting to highlight those things to me.

“I have to say, in general, the lads have worked extremely hard and we are now at a point where they have two sessions in the morning (yesterday) and have the afternoon to themselves which I am sure they will be grateful for before we go again on Friday.”

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Hurst added: “I’m fully aware that most of the squad were together last season and I think a new manager and a new assistant, as well as Chris Skitt (physio) and Nathan (Winder, fitness coach), means it’s good for staff to bond. We get that little bit more time to chat, have the conversations and get to know how each other works.

“It’s been great. The weather is warm, although I’m not sure it’s much warmer than back home, and the facilities are great. We’ll be at the training ground for a long time over the season and I think the lads appreciate this side of it.

“They are probably a bit too tired to enjoy the pool too much, though.”

Jordan Roberts is with the Ipswich Town squad in Spain after leaving Crawley last season. Picture: ITFCJordan Roberts is with the Ipswich Town squad in Spain after leaving Crawley last season. Picture: ITFC

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