In two days' time, the entire Maccabi Tel Aviv squad will be leaving for a training camp in the Austrian village of Saalfelden. Time to have a closer look at the venue and the opponents Maccabi will face there

Maccabi Tel Aviv's preparation for the 2013/14 season will go into a higher gear on Thursday when the team set off for a training camp in the Austrian village of Saalfelden. After landing in Munich on Thursday evening, the squad will continue on to Austria and Saalfelden, a four hour drive from the capital Vienna and close to the city of Salzburg. In Saalfelden the players and staff will be staying at a luxury hotel with a fitness centre, tennis and squash courts, a bowling alley and fusball tables to provide some respite from the tension of the training sessions themselves.

On Friday morning the Maccabi squad will begin their practices at the training grounds six kilometres from their hotel at the foot of the Salzburg Mountains. These training grounds, where Maccabi Haifa have also held camp, contain two pitches, one synthetic and one of real grass. Saalfelden is not only a popular spot for football clubs. In winter this modest village is also a ski resort attracting both professionals and holiday makers alike. In summer the weather is a pleasant 16 to 24 degrees Celsius.

This Sunday the 30th of June, Maccabi Tel Aviv are due to begin their practise games in Saalfelden against the German side FC Ingolstadt 04, who last season finished 13th in the 2nd German Bundesliga. Three days later, on the 3rd of July, Maccabi will play their second match against Russian side FC Krasnodar, featuring Maccabi Tel Aviv's 2011/12 player of the season, the Senegalese forward Pape Moussa Konaté. Now in his second year at the club, Konaté finished last season with Krasnodar tenth in the Russian Premier League with just one goal to his credit.

The last match the Israeli champions will be playing at the training camp will be on Saturday the 6th of July against the Czech champions FC Viktoria Plzeň. This past season they won the league title for only the second time in their history and will be following the same path as Maccabi Tel Aviv in their attempts to reach the group stages of the Champions League. The following day the Maccabi squad will return to Israel for two more practise matches, one against Ashdod FC (July 9th) and the other against Hapoel Rishon Lezion (July 11th) at the Kiryat Shalom training grounds. This will be Maccabi's last pre-season match before the 2013/14 season officially gets underway  with the first qualifying match for the Champions League against Hungarian side Gyori FC on either the 16th or 17th of July.