Should Cheltenham Town travel abroad for a pre-season tour in the future?

With pre-season well underway most English football teams are embarking on short trips to local lower league clubs in order to prepare for their new league season.

Cheltenham Town have already travelled to Oxford City for their first warm up game and now face two very short trips to Bishops Cleeve and Evesham United.

Meanwhile National League side Wrexham are nearly 1,500 miles away in Portugal, and it’s fair to say that former Robins left-back James Jennings is enjoying their tour in the sun.

 
Most Premier League clubs go on cross-continental tours for pre-season. For example Arsenal are currently in Australia and will soon be in China for the International Champions Cup.

But the furthest Cheltenham will have to travel this month is 60 miles to Weston-Super-Mare, closely followed by 54 miles to Bath.

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Close pre-season fixtures are practical and help prepare teams adequately with very little stress, but what harm can be done by taking a trip abroad to experience different climates and environments, not to mention opposition.

It is very well known that Cheltenham Town have a Norwegian fan club, they have made an annual visit to Whaddon Road for the past 14 years and were present to see the last home game of 2016/17 against Hartlepool United, which Cheltenham won 1-0 to secure Football League survival.

There is no reason why Gary Johnson’s side couldn’t travel beyond Britain for pre-season in future years, and Norway could be the perfect destination as it would allow our loyal Scandinavian supporters the chance to see their team at ‘home’.

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It would also give other Cheltenham fans the opportunity to both holiday and watch their team, something that Oxford United supporters enjoyed in Austria last year.

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Former manager Mark Yates did take Cheltenham to South Wales to face Port Talbot in 2012, but we have otherwise stayed in the South West and Midlands regions for pre-season.

Perhaps a trip further afield to foreign shores could be on the cards for Cheltenham Town in the near future.

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