Cardiff City won’t be going abroad when pre-season begins in July of the 2017/18 season.
The Bluebirds spent last summer competing in the Osnabrück tournament in Germany under Paul Trollope and had a pretty successful time, winning three and drawing once in the four games they played in Western Europe.
However, Neil Warnock revealed that his side won’t be going to any sun-soaked locations in four months time. The 68 year-old has decided that Cornwall will be the destination for his first pre-season as City manager.
With the South-West only boasting a handful of football teams – many of them not even professional – who are the teams that the Bluebirds could face in August?
Currently plying their trade in the National League South, Truro haven’t had the best of seasons, hovering five points about the relegation zone. A complete contrast from last season, in which they finished 4th and lost in the play-off semi-finals to Maidstone, who went on to get promoted to the National League.
Their stadium holds just 3,800 people – almost 30,000 less than the Cardiff City Stadium – with 1,675 seats.
Former Spurs midfielder Lee Hodges is currently in his second spell in-charge of the Tigers, after leaving at the end of the 2013 season, the 43 year-old has been at the helm for just over a year.
Technically not in Cornwall, Plymouth Argyle are at a much higher level in the footballing pyramid. Currently second in League Two, the Devon-based side would provide much more of a test for the Bluebirds.
Losing in the play-off final to Neil Ardley’s AFC Wimbledon last season, Argyle have been on the cusp of League One for the last few seasons, but haven’t managed to earn promotion.
Manager Derek Adams has been with the club since 2015, and was very unlucky not to gain promotion in his first season in-charge. Looking a lot better this time around, the Pilgrims are 11 points clear of the play-offs and will surely be aiming for automatic promotion.
Warnock has a good relationship with Adams, loaning winger Matty Kennedy to the Green Army on deadline day. City’s current manager was also in-charge of Argyle in 1995 until 1997 winning the play-offs in his first season. He also achieved promotion to Division Two, before being sacked in February 1997.
Another side who play in League Two, Exeter are having a much more successful season compared to last. Currently occupying the final play-off place, the Grecians finished 14th last season, and would provide a stern contest for the Bluebirds.
Paul Tisdale is their manager, and the longest serving manager in the Football League. The 44 year-old has been in-charge for 11 years and will know his squad inside out.
City have played Exeter in pre-season before, travelling there last season losing 3-0 to Tisdale’s side.
St James Park has a capacity of just over eight and a half thousand, and with the potential of being a League One side next season, Exeter could have a number of new players that will provide city with a good sense of competition.
Torquay would be the furthest trip for City if they were to travel to Plainmoor. Kevin Nicholson (not the former City academy coach) has been a player manager for two years.
Currently sitting just one point above the National League relegation zone, The Gulls are a professional side, while teams around them still in the semi-professional category.
Plainmoor is a considerably large stadium for the fifth tear of English football, having an impressive 6,500 capacity, with just under 3000 seats.
Warnock again has good ties with the club – managing them in 1993 – after being invited to be a club consultant by then manager Paul Compton. Compton resigned shortly after, and Warnock stayed on until the end of the season, finishing 8th in the third division.