The boys are back!

Alex Livesey

Squad report back to Finch Farm

The World Cup isn't even over yet but already the bulk of the Everton squad are back for pre-season.

Don't you just love tournament summers!

With Roberto Martinez also back following his punditry duties in Brazil the players were put through their paces with a series of fitness tests on Thursday morning.

It has been nearly two months since the players signed off for the 2013/14 season, so a lot of work it needed in the coming weeks in order to prepare for the new campaign.

Fresh from signing a three-year deal with the club, Gareth Barry was interviewed by the media about his permanent switch to Everton before undergoing some fitness tests of his own.

The squad will fly to Austria next week for a training camp as they slowly build-up their preparations for the new season. Players involved in the World Cup, including Tim Howard, Phil Jagielka and Ross Barkley, have been given extra time off and so were not present at Finch Farm.

The club have been unusually quiet about their pre-season fixture list given the games are due to take place in a few weeks time.

So far just three games have been announced, with the first match a meeting with local rivals Tranmere on July 22. The Blues will also play newly promoted Leicester City in Bangkok on Sunday 27th July before returning to Goodison for their final pre-season game, Leon Osman's testimonial against Porto on Sunday August 3.

The excitement is already building ahead of the new campaign and here at Royal Blue Mersey we will keep you updated will all the pre-season preparations as well as the latest transfer rumours.

Lets do this!

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