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Saints Heading to Chairman Gao's Homeland
Friday, 25th May 2018 09:35

Saints will be visiting the home of their majority shareholder Jisheng Gao China for a major pre-season training camp this summer including two games.

Well not exactly Gao's home he probably hasn't got a garden big enough, but Saints follow in the footsteps of West Bromwich Albion and Wham before themin making a trip to China.

The official club website has reported:

The two-week trip to the Far East will take place in July, and will feature showpiece friendly matches against FC Schalke 04 and Jiangsu Suning, as Saints compete in the three-team Club Super Cup.

The camp will allow the first-team squad a period of intensive preparation ahead of the new Premier League season, while also building on an ever-increasing presence in the country.

The Saints squad will fly out on Saturday 30th June, arriving in Shanghai the following day.

They will initially be based in the city of Kunshan, to the east of Shanghai, with their first game, against Schalke, on Thursday 5th July.

The match against the Bundesliga runners-up will take place at Kunshan Stadium, and will kick-off at 12.30pm BST (7.30pm local time).

Saints will then travel 300 miles north-west, on Sunday 8th July, to the city of Xuzhou, where they will be based for the next part of the camp.

While there, they will face Chinese Super League outfit Jiangsu Suning, on Wednesday 11th July, at the Xuzhou Olympic Sports Centre Stadium, with kick-off at 12.30pm BST (7.30pm local time).

The squad will then fly back to Southampton on Friday 13th July and embark on the rest of its preparations for the 2018/19 Premier League campaign.

However given that this tour takes place right smack bang in the middle of the World Cup in Russia it is likely that it will be a depleted squad that will make the trip with at least five of the squad likely to be taking part in that tournament

Cedric Soares, Maya Yoshida and Dusan Tadic will all be travelling with their respective countries, while Jan Bednarek and Pierre-Emile Hojbjerg are battling to make final squads for Poland and Denmark respectively.

Ironically Hojbjerg will miss the opportunity of playing against one of his old clubs, he played a season on loan at Schalke before joining Saints in the summer of 2016.

Photo: Action Images

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LordDZLucan added 11:10 - May 25
Let's hope we've got a manager before they fly out!

ChristchurchSaint added 13:06 - May 25
Hopefully Krueger and Reed will go with them and forget to come back........

BoondockSaint added 13:12 - May 25
Another great move by our state of the art PR dept.--Promote the the brand by taking your third stringers on tour and, to maximize media exposure, do it while all the press are at the World Cup!

As others on this site have said, "You can't make this up!"

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