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Danish Pre-Season Plans

By: Peter Forrester
Date: 17/02/2001

Grimsby Town boss Lennie Lawrence is planning to take the Mariners to Scandinavia in the pre-season next summer to warm up his side. Whether Town will be in Division 1 or Division 2 is yet to be seen but either way the trip will be a good one to prepare his squad for the tough season ahead.

The trip has yet to be finalised but if all goes well, then the Town squad will be visiting Denmark in the pre-season. The only foreseeable stumbling block is that of the lack of finances available to fund the trip.

However if it turns out that the squad cannot make it to Denmark, a alternative trip to bonnie Scotland has been pencilled in for the players, including a possible return friendly with former Mariner Ivano Bonetti's Dundee. The Scottish Premier side visited Cleethorpes for a pre-season friendly this summer, in what was Dundee's first fixture on UK soil with their new Italian manager at the helm.

Asked about which of the two venues Lawrence would prefer the Town boss told the Evening Telegraph "I'd prefer Copenhagen". The Mariners boss has had prior experience in Scandinavia before, having taken his former club, Luton, to the Danish capital in pre-season. Lawrence commented: "I used to come up this neck of the woods because you always get good pitches here".

Explaining the logistics of a possible trip to Scandinavia Lennie Lawrence said: "We'll have five or six days there in a perfect world and a couple of big games, and maybe another smaller game. I'll probably take 16 or 17 players.".

Those fans thinking the Town team would face ex-loanee David Nielsen will be disappointed as it seems certain that the player will be leaving on a Bosman at he end of the season. Nielsen is out of contract at the Danish club at the end of the season and will be a free agent by the time the Mariners would arrive in Denmark.

The Town players and management team will definitely hope for a better pre-season tour than last two year's pre-season outings to Northern Ireland. Last year in a disastrous trip first of all the squad's flight from Stanstead to Derry was delayed one and a half hours, and then when they did finally arrive in Ireland their final game against Tranmere was abandoned after 20 minutes as news filtered through that the Derry chairman had passed away in a fatal road accident.

The previous summer's annual outing to the Province resulted in central defender Peter Handyside sustaining an ankle injury which kept the former Scotland Under-21 International out of the first team action for over a year.

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