Koeman looking forward to pre-season reunions

By SFC Media time Tue 30 Jun Club

Ronald Koeman is looking forward to returning to two of his former clubs when Saints head to Holland in pre-season.

The Saints boss enjoyed spells as a player with FC Groningen and Feyenoord, before managing the latter between 2011 and 2014 ahead of his move to St Mary’s.

His current club face both of the Dutch sides in pre-season games between 18th July and 23rd July as Saints prepare for the 2015/16 campaign.

“Of course it’s nice,” Koeman told youtube.com/southamptonfc. “Last season we were in Belgium and we enjoyed it very much.

“We have now too very good friendlies, one in our hometown and one against Feyenoord who is still a special team because I was coach for three years in a row.

“I have a great feeling with the club and the fans. It’s a nice stadium to play, a good match against them. It’s also the last one before the qualification for the Europa League."

VIDEO: @RonaldKoeman is looking forward to returning to @fcgroningen and @Feyenoord with #SaintsFC in pre-season. https://t.co/Xsd9QvNTzn

— Southampton FC (@SouthamptonFC) June 30, 2015

The quality of opposition, as Saints prepare for life in the Premier League and Europa League next season, will hand his side a real test before their campaign gets underway, according to Koeman.

“You need good friendlies,” the manager added. “That’s good for the development of the players and to have competition against different styles of playing is good.

“Different teams, different countries, that’s good experience for us for what we will have this season.”

Saints’ other trip in pre-season will see them head to Austria, and Koeman admits his international players will not be ready for the game against RasenBallsport Leipzig on Wednesday 8th July.

But they will get their opportunity towards the end of the trip when Saints take part in the Audi quattro Cup alongside Valencia, another of Koeman's former clubs, Red Bull Salzburg and Werder Bremen.

“We start to play friendlies on the Wednesday,” said Koeman. “That’s too early for the international players so we will play that friendly game with the people who started training on Monday.

“After that we have two 45 minute games, the first one against Valencia and normally the international players will play for 45 minutes.

“That’s the second week, but for them the first week and we have to grow in all aspects of football; in a physical way and how we like to play. Most of the players know that.”

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