Bristol Rovers summer plans revealed as ‘exotic’ trip planned for five new transfers

Plans are beginning to take shape for Bristol Rovers summer with an 'exotic' trip planned.

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Joey Barton has revealed some of Bristol Rovers’ plans for pre-season as he eyes reinforcements.

The 2022/23 season has concluded but preparations are already underway for next year. Barton remains in discussions with those out of contract this summer with another busy few months in store.

Five players are set to return to their parent clubs with only Lewis Gibson at Everton being the one whose long-term future is uncertain. It leaves Barton with 14 senior players at his disposal with transfers needed.

The 40-year-old is hoping to recruit up to five new players before the pre-season begins. Last season’s start date was June 27, and their first signing of the summer last year was on June 21 when Jordan Rossiter joined.

He said to Geoff Twentyman on Having a Gass which is broadcast on BBC Radio Bristol: “Hopefully we’ll have at least four or five in with them.

“We’re trying to get as many done early as we can so that when we turn up for the first day of pre-season for testing that we’ve got the most of our group.

“The second and third day, we’ve got a slightly exotic trip to go on down to the Royal Marines Commandos base.

“We’re trying to do our team gelling and putting our together as early as possible so we can get as many on there.”

Barton is taking a leaf out of the playbook of his former Burnley boss Sean Dyche. Dyche had a ‘Gaffer’s Day’ in which he put his Clarets players through gruelling tests of fitness and stamina which helped towards team spirit. Tommy Spurr revealed last year the ‘brutal’ sessions in which Barton did during his time at Fleetwood Town.

Rovers’ first pre-season friendly has been announced. They will play Melksham Town at the Oakfield Stadium on Friday, June 30 at 7.30 pm. A training camp in Portugal and a behind-closed friendly against FC Porto took place last year.

Barton had suggested that there had been discussions about a match with Bristol City but it was advised against. He further added that a replacement friendly against Cardiff City is in the pipeline.

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