STOKE CITY’S first team stars reported back for pre-season on Monday morning at the Club’s state-of-the-art Clayton Wood Training Ground.
Manager Mark Hughes and his newly appointed backroom team were on hand to meet and greet the players as a group for the first time as preparations for the forthcoming 2013/14 campaign got underway.
City’s boss welcomed back the majority of his playing squad for his inaugural session including summer acquisitions Erik Pieters and Marc Muniesa, as well as Jermaine Pennant, who was handed a new deal.
Trinidad and Tobago star Kenwyne Jones and American international winger Brek Shea were both absent however, as they look to lead their respective countries to glory in the CONCACAF Gold Cup which got underway in the US on Sunday.
The Potters are due to undertake routine fitness tests at St George’s Park in Burton tomorrow morning, before departing for a five day training camp in the south of France on Wednesday, returning back to the UK on Sunday evening.
They will then undertake a full week’s training on home soil, before departing for the United States on Monday July 22, where the team are scheduled to take on MLS trio Houston Dynamo (Wednesday, July 24th), FC Dallas (Saturday, July 27th) and Philadelphia Union (Tuesday, July 30th).
Further pre-season friendlies are pencilled in against Wrexham at the Racecourse Ground on Sunday, August 4th, before hosting Italian giants Genoa in the final warm-up match at the Britannia Stadium on Saturday, August 10th.