SWINDON Town will be going to the “best place in Italy” for their pre-season tour, according to manager Paolo Di Canio.
The Robins boss will take his squad to Lake Garda in the Veneto region of his native country for two weeks between July 1 and July 14, and he could not be happier with the venue.
The team’s hotel complex boasts two outdoor swimming pools and four football pitches and five-a-side grass pitches, as well as plenty to keep the squad entertained away from the training ground.
Town missed out on a return trip to Norcia, where they enjoyed and endured a nine-day stay last year, but Di Canio feels they have gone one better this time around.
“We are going to Lake of Garda because Norcia was too late. The people who work in the hotel were sad because they tried to contact us a few times to ask if we were available to go there but we couldn’t give an answer,” he said.
“Two hundred kids will be there in July enjoying the facilities where we were last year. But I have to be honest, where we go is the best place in Italy.
“Derby County was there when they won the Championship a few years ago, Millwall, many British clubs.
“It’s a bit hotter than Norcia, 34 or 35 degrees, but that’s not a problem. We will have three full football pitches with natural grass, one five-a-side, one eight-a-side, a little hill, a swimming pool, a gymnasium and the hotel inside the facilities.
“The players will walk down, go in the dressing room, change and train. It’s the best place to go for a pre-season. Chievo Verona used it for many years as a base so it’s amazing for the players, there is something in the hotel for them to gel together.
“It will help the players stick together, enjoy the moment and especially work, work, work, work, hard, hard and hard because this year will be harder than last year for sure.”
Swindon will play at least two friendly matches during their two-week tour, with the first set to take place on Thursday, July 5 against a collection of local Serie D players, while further fixtures have yet to be confirmed.
Di Canio is hopeful the experience will help his team blend ahead of their assault on League One next term.
He said: “Here it’s too difficult for players if they want to stay together. They come here, have lunch at the County Ground then they’re saying ‘where we going, we have one hour’s rest, we go there, we go here, I go home, you go there.’ “There they know they have rooms. In the night after dinner they have snooker and join together, speak together, understand more about each other, talk about what’s going on and suffering together.
“They will have 24-hour availability of myself, of the fitness coach, the masseur, from the physio.
“Five more days will be crucial for our work and to integrate a bit more.”