EDDIE Howe is hoping a combination of hard work and team-bonding at Spain’s La Manga Club can help Cherries make a flying start to the new season in what he believes will be an “invaluable experience” for his players.

Cherries boss Howe and his squad tomorrow fly to Murcia for 11 days’ intensive training in the Spanish sun as they step up preparations for their fourth campaign in the Premier League.

Despite a poor start to last season, Cherries recovered to finish 12th and Howe believes the warm-weather break will put his squad in great shape, both physically and mentally, for the season ahead, which begins at home to promoted Cardiff City.

“There will be a lot of football work, physical work in the gym, double sessions and triple sessions,” said Howe.

“There will be the usual pre-season things you would expect. But there will be other things as well, which will test the players in different ways away from the pitch and help bond them.

“It’s very important to settle the group and get to know what to expect of each other during a tough season so it’s an invaluable experience for us.”

Howe is relishing his first visit to La Manga Club and the chance to put his players through their paces using the resort’s world-class facilities, which include eight FIFA-approved grass pitches.

As well as training at the five-star resort, Cherries will also play two high-profile friendlies against La Liga outfits Sevilla – Champions League quarter-finalists last season – and Levante, and Howe believes the Spanish break will be of huge benefit to his side’s prospects this season.

He added: “This will be my first trip to La Manga Club but I know several people who have been previously and my staff went out there earlier in the summer to fully look at everything and make sure it was the place we wanted to be this summer.

“Facilities-wise, I don’t think there is anywhere better. There is a huge array of things for us to do, to challenge the players in different ways, which we will of course do.

“We also have two great friendlies out there, really tough tests, so we are looking forward to those games.

“The main thing, though, is that the pitches and the football work will be of the highest quality.”

With extensive sports and leisure facilities, La Manga Club’s global reputation as a first-choice destination for a football training break is well deserved.

Other facilities include three 18-hole golf courses, a 28-court tennis centre and a 2,000sqm Wellness Centre.

In addition, the resort offers the choice of a five-star hotel, four-star serviced apartments and townhouses and more than 15 bars and restaurants.