Exclusive: Oldham heading for pre-season in the Holy Land

By Craig Silver, October 23, 2008

Coca Cola League One side Oldham Athletic are set to embark on a pre-season tour of Israel July next year.

Managing Director and co-owner Simon Corney, who suggested the idea to the club's manager John Sheridan, is adamant to show the team that Israel is a safe country but, most importantly, a nation that remains "in love" with its football.

The side will begin a week's tour of the country on July 24. They will come up against Israeli Premiere League's Maccabi Haifa, Maccabi Tel Aviv and one other side yet to be confirmed.

Corney said he thought of the idea after a trip with his father to Tel Aviv. He said: "I started the ball rolling after I came back home from the trip last year and spoke to the other owner at Oldham, Simon Blitz. We both agreed and wanted to take the players over there and now hope everything will be arranged soon."

However, preparing for a new football season is not the only reason Corney wants to take the team to the Holy Land. He is also arranging special trips for the players to the various landmarks, which includes Yad Vashem.

"We spoke with the manager who said they would all love to go. It's great to see people's reactions when they first visit Israel, they become crazy about it and amazed by what a place it is.

"Clubs go to Spain or Portugal for their pre-season tours, that's fine but I think this is going to be even more worthwhile."

    Last updated: 10:41am, October 23 2008