We can announce that Kevin Bond will take his Southend United squad down to Dorset for a five-day training camp that will include a game against National League South side Weymouth as well as a behind closed doors game.
Blues will face Weymouth at Bob Lucas Stadium on Friday 12 July – 7.45pm KO.
Ticket details for the game will be announced in due course.
And Bond is looking forward to getting the group away in pre-season and having the chance to get five days of hard work in.
"It’s important to get the boys together and away from the training ground," he said.
"You want to get away from the training ground for all sorts of reasons; you save your pitches, plus you’re going to be spending so much time there over the course of the season, so it’s nice to get in a different environment away from what you’re used to.
"It’s good to get the players altogether on a daily basis and work hard on the football where you’ve got the boys to yourself morning, noon and night.”
Bond added: “It’s [Dorset] a place I know very well, I’ve been down there many times at actually nearly every club I’ve been at.
"I never really felt the need to go abroad, as long as the weather is OK, then it’s fine. We’ve managed to get away for five nights with a game against Weymouth on the way down and a game behind closed doors on the way back.
"We’ll play Weymouth on the Friday night, rest up after the game and then we can train on the Saturday and get five good training sessions in before we come home.
"That will be nice and I don’t think many of the boys will have been down there before. It will be hard work but they’ll enjoy it.
"Everyone flies off here, there and everywhere, but I think you don’t necessarily have to do that. We’ve found that where we’re going ticks a lot of the boxes for us.
"They can only accommodate one team at a time and there’s a very small window in pre-season so we were very fortunate to get in there in the five day period that we have. We know them a little bit and they were good to us so we’re looking forward to it and it will allow us to get some good work in."
Blues’ pre-season schedule also consists of games against Billericay Town, Dagenham & Redbridge and Millwall, and Bond is pleased with how it’s taking shape.
"Once we get the first week of training out the way, we need games weekend, midweek, weekend, midweek right up until the last week. We need that right through.
"It’s very difficult because we were trying to arrange these things a little bit later than most other teams.
"We’re pretty much there now, with maybe one other important fixture to resolve, but we’re pretty much there.
"I’m pleased with the competition we’ve got and the opposition we’re playing against. It’s so important, pre-season, it’s the base for everybody for the whole of the season so we need to concentrate hard on that and we’re getting there."