By Noel Whelan

29th Jun, 2022 | 10:32am

Leeds United employee issues 'fantastic' July claim as new details emerge

Noel Whelan has suggested Leeds United’s pre-season trip to Australia is an important opportunity to grow the club’s brand worldwide.

The former Whites striker, speaking exclusively to Football Insider, insisted the extra travel will not disrupt Jesse Marsch’s preparations for the 2022/23 season.

Leeds United have returned to training ahead of matches against Brisbane Roar (14 July), Aston Villa (17 July), and Crystal Palace (22 July) in Australia.

As confirmed by club media on Tuesday (28 June), the Whites will also take on Blackpool (7 July) and Cagliari (31 July) in games in England at either end of their trip down under.

The pre-season tour is the first in the southern hemisphere since 2019 – with the Covid-19 pandemic affecting plans across the last two seasons.

Whelan suggested Australia will provide a “fantastic backdrop” for pre-season activity as Leeds United vie to better last season’s 17th-place finish in the 2022/23 campaign.

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“It’s not dissimilar to when I was playing,” he told Football Insider‘s Ewan Kingsbury.

“We went out to Kuala Lumpur and South Africa. I think it’s just part and parcel of the game and how worldwide it is.

“It reaches out to these far-flung locations and gives an opportunity to these worldwide fans to see Leeds United play – because there is demand.

“It’s a commercial decision, of course, but it also provides a fantastic backdrop for the players to have the right facilities to hold a good training camp before the season starts.

“It’s all about getting to the maximum level of fitness, and I see no reason why this camp can’t do that.”

Leeds United kick off their Premier League campaign against Crystal Palace at Selhurst Park on 5 August.

The Whites have already tied up the signings of Rasmus Kristensen, Brenden Aaronson, and Marc Roca.

In other news, expert rubbishes “harsh” Kalvin Phillips claim as source reveals Man City deal latest.