The summer holidays are over for Malaga CF players as they returned to work to get their pre-season preparations under way. Head coach Pablo Guede instructed his players to show up from 7.30am this Monday morning, 4 July, to go through the usual health checks and to start working on their fitness levels ahead of the opening league game on 14 August.
Following a rocky start to his managerial stint at the Blue and Whites, where he managed to guide a struggling team to safety, Guede will now start the season from scratch after a month of planning behind the scenes.
The Argentine has already warned his men that the next few weeks will be tough, as the coach aims to get his players in peak physical condition that will also aid the style of play he's aiming to implement.
Some 25 players were summoned for the first day of the pre-season, among which are new signings Juanfran and Unai Bustinza. More new faces are expected to arrive in the coming days, including Fran Sol or the returning Febas, but they have yet to be officially announced; as well as the rumoured signing of Rubén Castro.
Monday's return from the summer holidays is also the first day of a three-phase pre-season. The Blue and Whites will work in the training facilities located in Malaga city until 19 July.
Then, they will head to Estepona's Atalaya Park hotel for ten days, where they will train twice a day and hope to play up to seven friendly matches to help fitness levels and improve teammate relations.
So far, only two friendlies have been announced: against Hull City on 16 July at 6.30pm at the Marbella Football Center; and then against Xerez on 30 July at 8.30pm at the Municipal Chapín stadium, in Jerez.
Finally, the fortnight prior to the league opener will serve as a way to polish any imperfections the coaching staff may have seen.
Malaga will kick off their season against Burgos on 14 August, with the expectation of being fully prepared and ready to fight for promotion.