ALAN Connell will take Cherries’ development squad for a pre-season training camp in Spain, which will incorporate two friendly matches.

Gearing up for their second season as a category two academy, Connell’s side will head to Murcia for some warm weather training next month.

The players return for pre-season next Tuesday, before heading out to Spain.

There, they will face local side FC Cartagena on Thursday, July 18 (7pm) and category one Nottingham Forest B on Sunday, July 21 (11am), both at the Pinatar Arena.

Cherries will then return to England for some more pre-season friendlies.

They take on Mark Molesley’s National League South Weymouth at Bob Lucas Arena on Saturday, July 27 (2pm), before facing Wimborne Town at New Cuthbury a week later (3pm).

Games against academies from Southampton (August 6) and Fulham (August 10) then follow.

Explaining the rationale behind this year’s pre-season schedule, development squad head coach Connell told Cherries’ website: “We went to a tournament in France last year which was a great experience for everybody.

“We had to weigh up the options as to what was best for the players this pre-season and we’ve gone for an intense training camp with a couple of high-profile fixtures.

“We want to give our players the best possible platform to improve and to make sure they are ready for the season so they go on to have a really good year.

“It will be a challenging week for the players and that’s what pre-season is all about. I’ve got a group of players that want to be pushed and that will definitely be the case while we’re away.

“The facilities look fantastic.

“Our academy doctor went there with his previous club so we know it’s going to give us a really good week to set us up for the season.

“In terms of friendlies, we’ve gone with a similar theme to last year. We’re playing European and category one opposition as well as some non-league friendlies.

“It was a varied programme that we liked and stood us in good stead last season so we felt that was the way to go this year as well.”