After arriving to Spain on Sunday, the hard work really started for the lads today as we kicked-off our pre-season training camp here in Oliva Nova.
Everyone slept well on Sunday evening due to the early start and flight that morning, so we were refreshed and ready for breakfast which was served between 8am-9am. We then got ready and walked 10 minutes down the road to the Oliva Nova training complex to begin our first session of the day.
We began with 30 minutes of pre-activation, which involves stretching our muscles, foam rolling and resistance band work. This is to loosen is up before a training session which began soon after.
Our first training session involved plenty of passing exercises and possession drills with an emphasis on not taking too many touches. This was followed by some crossing and finishing and some intense running which brought a good but tough first session to a close. We then headed straight to the gym for some weight lifting circuits before heading back to the hotel for lunch.
Our second session didn't start until 6pm local time so that gave us the chance to eat well and relax for the afternoon. The majority of the squad chose to sleep to help recover from this morning, whereas a few of the lads chilled out by the pool.
As this evening's session got underway, the thermostat was still well over 30 degrees celsius. Tonight's work started off with a standard game of 'tag' which got the lads running around and tuned in mentally to the session ahead. We then moved on to some small possession boxes (2 players in the middle with 5 on the outside) where the players on the outside have to keep the ball away from the 2 in the middle. If 15 passes are completed or a player gets nutmegged then the middle players have to stay in! Every players loves those boxes!
The last bit of the session was some conditioning work. We had a circuit which covered most of the pitch and worked continually for 2 sets of 10 minutes. All the players have showed a great work ethic on what was a very tough first day.
It was then a case of getting back to the hotel in time for dinner at 8pm. After having a good meal it was the turn of Billy Waters, Daniel Powell and Ash Taylor to sing their initiation songs. We'd heard Billy had a bit in his locker but he surprised us with how good he was! The video is on our official Twitter and Facebook page if you haven't already seen it. After dinner we headed off to chill out and get ready for another tough but productive day tomorrow.