Hartpury College Football Academy


A view of the Football Academy at Desert Springs Resort, Europe’s only international award-winning luxury family resort and championship desert golf course in the Almanzora region of Almeria in south-east Spain, which has been selected by Hartpury College Football Academy from Gloucester, England, as the venue for their 2013 training camp.

The Hartpury College Football Academy based in Gloucester, England have selected the Desert Springs Resort, Europe’s only international award-winning luxury family resort and championship desert golf course in the Almanzora region of Almeria, Andalucía, in south-east Spain, as the venue for their 2013 winter training camp.

A squad of twenty two elite players and twenty development squad players with three officials from Hartpury College Football Academy are following in the footsteps of other teams such as Bryne, Honefoss, UD Almeria and Shrewsbury Town Football Club, all of whom have previously benefited from the facilities of the Football Academy established at Desert Springs.

The Hartpury College Football Academy established in 2002, is split into two sections; Junior and Senior.  The Junior section caters for the further education side of the college and includes players aged 16-19 years, whilst the Seniors are made up of higher education students on degree or foundation degree programmes aged 18 years and upwards.

The Academy’s notable achievements include being crowned British University Champions in 2007, 2008 and 2011, BUCS National Futsal trophy winners 2011, English Colleges Champions in 2008, 2010 and 2011, and England Schools U18 Champions in 2009 and 2010.

During a seven-night stay between Saturday 6th – Saturday 13th April at Desert Springs the Hartpury College players will benefit from training and coaching on the football academy’s international-size quality grass pitch. A new hard standing area provides outside space for facilities such as a free weights gym, stretching mats and a medical area. The players will also be able to make use of the goalkeeper training and five-a-side games area.

The football academy practice facilities at Desert Springs, which are being used by Hartpury College Football Academy players for training in warm weather.

Simon Coaker, sales and marketing manager at Desert Springs, commented;

“Further to a familiarisation visit to the resort by Hartpury Football Junior Academy Manager, Paul Tassell, he felt that the quality of the Football Academy pitch and training facilities, coupled with the wide range of sports and leisure facilities available in the resort, were the driving factors for his decision to select Desert Springs for their training camp.”

Players and coaches utilizing the gymnasium facilities available at the Sierra Sports and Fitness Club at Desert Springs.

Players can also enjoy opportunities to swim, mountain bike, play tennis and use the gymnasium, trim trail, jogging tracks, paddle tennis and beach volley ball courts. They also have access to the resort’s Private Reserve which incorporates a spa, private sauna and jacuzzi suite, personal fitness workout room, games room with bar, and a home cinema.

The players and officials will be accommodated in some of the privately owned apartments normally reserved for holidays and short breaks at Desert Springs and the resort’s executive chef will be on hand to cater for the special dietary requirements of individual players dining in the award-winning El Torrente Restaurant.

Already well known as a resort specialising in golf and family holidays, Desert Springs is gaining popularity as a centre for warm-weather training for golfers and cricketers, as well as footballers.

For more information about training camps, sports breaks and properties available, or golf at Desert Springs, contact The Almanzora Group on telephone +44 (0) 1242 680 116 or visit the website, www.almanzora.com

Additional background Information

The Desert Springs Resort & Golf Club

Facilities already completed and in use at Desert Springs include:

  • a 72 par 18-hole USGA Indiana golf course designed by former Great Britain and Ireland Golf Team Captain Peter McEvoy who was inspired by the desert courses of Arizona and California;
  • a golf academy whose PGA qualified teaching professionals cater for several international teams, for the women’s elite squads of the Golf Union of Wales and for many of the English County Union’s elite squads; PGA European Tour and LET players.
  • two hard tennis courts, two paddle courts, beach volley ball and two football pitches – one is a full-size international grass pitch; the other is designed for five-a-side games;
  • a Spanish colonial style Golf Club House with a lounge, bar, restaurant, locker rooms, TV and reading rooms, and a Ralph Lauren Golf Boutique;
  • The Crocodile Club which provides family fun at the heart of the resort with pools, equipped sand play areas, a kid’s battery powered John Deere Gator circuit and a games room as well as a jacuzzi, sun lawns and a pool bar;
  • a health and fitness club and spa.



In 2005 Desert Springs won the Daily Mail Best Almeria Award and the Bentley International Property Awards for the Best Spain Development and Best Architecture.  In 2006, it was awarded the Spanish National Madera Verde Prize for Environmentally Sensitive Development.   In 2007, the El Torrente Restaurant received the New Millennium International Gastronomy Award for the Tourist, Hotel and Catering Industry. This award was created by the Trade Leaders Club with the aim of distinguishing companies from all countries, for the outstanding quality of their products or services.

The climate of the Almanzora coastal region

Desert Springs takes it name from the region’s desert microclimate, which is unique in Europe. It has the warmest winter weather on the continent with an annual average of more than nine hours of daily sunshine and maximum daily temperatures of between 16°C (60°F) and 30°C (86°F) throughout the year.  Annual rainfall is less than 200 mm.  The Almanzora’s coastal waters are among the cleanest and warmest in Europe, attracting both fish and diving enthusiasts.

Getting there from the UK

Desert Springs in The Almanzora region is easy to reach from the UK, thanks to three international airports. They are: Almeria Airport, around 40 minutes away by road; Murcia Airport, 80 minutes by car, and Alicante Airport which is a drive of less than two hours. Airlines currently flying to the region from the UK include easyJet, Monarch, Ryanair, Jet2, Jetair Fly and Thomas Cook.


Reader enquiries:

Simon Coaker

The Almanzora Group Ltd

The Manor, Boddington,
Cheltenham, Gloucestershire GL51 0TJ

Tel: +44 (0) 1242 680116

e: tag@almanzora.co.uk