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Albion in Spain: Garcia prepares in the City of Victory
OSCAR Garcia will step up his bid to build a winning team at Albion in the “City of Victory”.
That is the translation of Segovia, the historic base for a week-long return to Spain for Garcia which will be crucial to the new head coach’s understanding of his players and what makes them tick.
Garcia and the assistants he has brought with him from Maccabi Tel Aviv, Juan Torrijo Navaro and Ruben Martinez, will be with the squad 24/7 as they hone preparations for the Championship campaign, now less than three weeks away.
Albion arrived yesterday at their four-star hotel on the outskirts of Segovia, a small city 55 miles from Madrid with a population of 55,000, frequented by artists, writers and intellectuals.
They will be working hard in training at a complex nearby and have two matches against La Liga opposition.
Getafe play host to the Seagulls at their home stadium, the 17,500-seater Coliseum Alfonso Perez in the southern suburb of Madrid, on Wednesday night, kick-off 7.30pm UK time.
Albion then return to Segovia to face Sporting Gijon at the 3,000 capacity Estadio Municipal La Albuerao on Saturday evening (7pm UK time).
The players will be grateful that Segovia has a cooler climate than many Spanish cities, due to the surrounding mountains.
Away from the football there will be plenty of sightseeing opportunities in their limited spare time. Segovia, home to Spain’s artillery academy, is renowned for its giant Roman aqueduct formed of 118 arches. It was built more than 2,000 years ago and has survived several natural disasters to remain in working order.
The 11th century walls are still standing in the medieval-type city, which lies on a rocky hill crowned by a 16th century Gothic cathedral. Another attraction is the Alcazar castle, an important fortress during the Middle Ages.
Segovia also has various historic palaces, the majority of which are now privately owned, together with numerous Roman-inspired churches including the Vera Cruz, which legend has it was built by people returning from Jerusalem and once contained a piece of the Holy Cross.
The players, dietary requirements permitting, might have an opportunity to sample local delicacies such as cochinillo asado (very small roasted pig) or judiones de La Granja (big beans cooked with meat).
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