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Everton squad fly out to Austria

Pre-season preparations ramped up.

Chris Brunskill

After a few days of medical checks and fitness tests at Finch Farm, the majority of the Everton first-team squad have flown out to Austria for a training camp.

The team will spend the next six days near the Austrian capital Vienna, working on their fitness ahead of the new season.

The only absentees are those involved in the World Cup - Phil Jagielka, Ross Barkley, Leighton Baines, Kevin Mirallas and Tim Howard. They are expected to join up with the squad next week

The team will return to England next weekend ahead of the first pre-season friendly of the summer against local rivals Tranmere Rovers on July 22.

Up to now only two more friendlies have been announced, against Leicester City in Bangkok on July 27 and Leon Osman's testimonial against Porto on  August 3.

Further friendlies are expected to be announced imminently, with it already being confirmed that the club will not embark on a pre-season tour, but instead play a number of individual friendlies.

It is also hoped that transfer activity will increase now Roberto Martinez is back in the country. Gareth Barry is already on-board and I sense patience is needed by the fans as Roberto builds his squad, while simultaneously ignoring what Twitter 'ITKs' may say about our transfer targets - Roberto will get it right, eventually!