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Diary from Spain - Day 5

4 July 2013

Well when they said let’s go to the beach it sounded like a good opportunity to enjoy the sun, but this was no ordinary beach excursion. To start with we had an early 7.30am start before the heat of the day had a chance to set in.

The day before David Flitcroft had said the workout session on the beach would be one that they would not forget and it certainly was. This was a full 60 minute energy-sapping, high intensity circuit workout. There was virtually no time for any rest in between the different activities.

It was tough enough just walking in the sand around the action to take video footage and photographs, but for the players to sprint, jump, do press-ups, squats and more in the soft sand was extremely challenging and you could see that etched on their faces. I tell you what, it was much harder than that hill I keep walking up! If you want to get a flavour of what it was like have a look at the five minute video on Barnsley Player here.

If that wasn’t enough punishment there was just a 90 minute break before the squad were back pitch side for another training session similar to the one on Tuesday morning where the players again showed 100% commitment just as they had done in the beach session. It certainly shows our squad is very fit to keep going no matter what.

A third session of the day took place in the evening. The centerpiece was three 12 minute full size matches. There’s no doubt the players take these seriously, as they do with all the other smaller scale games that are played. They fight for every ball, every free kick, throw in and decision. None of them like to lose, not even in a training exercise. It’s that desire to win at everything that helps demonstrate there is fantastic commitment amongst this group of players.

Watching from close quarters there’s no doubt the squad and the management staff have a singular focus on improving their abilities, working harder and achieving more and with four weeks before the start of the new season David Flitcroft and his team are building with every day. I’ve been fortunate enough to have unlimited access and hopefully I’ve been able to convey the hard work and determination they have been showing through videos, pictures and words.

I head home in the morning, but the squad will continue to train on Friday, with the morning session the toughest of all physically this week.

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