Well I didn’t think I’d be writing today’s letter in Malaga airport suffering from a four hour delay. Since the friendly match with St. Mirren had be a recently arranged fixture I had already booked a flight back for tonight but since I’m so delayed I could have chanced my arm and stayed to watch Kelvin Etuhu’s goal win the game for the Reds.
At any rate we can enjoy the first real outing for Keith Hill’s team on Tuesday against Alfreton Town and on Saturday 21st at Rotherham United.
After yesterday’s heat the players understandably had a lighter workout in the morning. Basically some stretching exercise and a bit of ball work to keep everything ticking over in preparation for this evening’s game.
Strength and conditioning coach Guy Proctor and physio Craig Sedgwick have been keeping a close eye on hydration levels throughout the week. Intense training sessions under extreme heat have meant players have lost as much as 4kg weight in a single session and it is vital that they put it all back on again to keep the body and mind strong.
Before and after each session every player is weighed and during the training their chest monitors help Guy Proctor assess how they are doing as they train and see how much it is working their body.
Nothing has been left to chance here and everything has been carefully prepared and executed. My three days spent with the squad has been really insightful. The squad are a singularly united group. Each one is urging the other on to do better, there is a respect for each other and no one has held back in putting everything into every minute of every training session.
Pre-season is a time when players get some pretty nasty looking blisters and having seen a few of them I think I may struggle to be walking normally let alone playing a match so they are quick to treat their feet. Daily muscle rubs are also a key element in keeping the players in good shape and able to participate fully in training.
Certainly they will have pushed their bodies to the limit and that can only be good for building endurance and going forward being fitter and stronger, especially towards the end of matches.
I leave the Spanish training camp looking forward even more to the new season and watching how the new players and the new pros along with the established players grow and progress as a unit.
If you want to see more from what has been happening in Marbella then subscribe to Barnsley Player where we have videos available and more coming for the remainder of the week.