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Club News


10 July 2014

Brentford FC Player Liaison Manager Peter Gilham reports from pre-season training camp in Florida

Wednesday morning and the cloudy skies suggest a hot and humid day ahead - much like the preceding seven days with or without cloud.

Breakfast, and Bob Oteng, the Kit Man is there already having prepared and overseen the laundering of the penultimate sessions dirty kit. 

His is a fine but tried and tested system. 

You can imagine the amount of kit that has to be changed and laundered after every session given the extreme conditions. 

But Bob has it totally under control. 

We (that is the proverbial we) have "kit" to wear for meal times, when training on the pitch, when working out in the gym and also when doing activation work on the beach. 

Providing we bring/pass the used kit back after each session, then a fresh kit is there waiting for you.

After breakfast the first van leaves with a mix of coaching, conditioning, analysis and medical staff plus maybe a player or two who may require additional attention. 

This is to ensure that when the main body of the squad arrives some thirty minutes later everything is in place so as not to waste a second of this valuable opportunity.

On arrival everything has been set up on the pitch by Warbs and David Weir, with cones, balls and mannequins here, there and everywhere, in readiness for any number of training routines. 

Neil Greig's medical staff have set up the area set aside for treatment. 

Matt Springham's conditioning staff have been busy putting out various pieces of equipment for the players, preparing the GPS and heart rate monitors, as well as pitching up two or three huge Gatorade and water containers which are a necessity in this climate, with regular breaks throughout training to take drinks. 

Meanwhile Neil McIlhargey and Luke Stopforth have set up the laptops etc on an elevated platform from which they film and analyse simultaneously all of the days training.

On arrival everything is in place for the players to ease their transition into warm up and training mode, thanks to the preparation put in by the back up staff.

Today they are training at Level Three which involves multiple coaching formats which are far to complex for me to understand let alone report back to you, but I hasten to add expertly put together by Warbs and David. 

Meanwhile Simon Royce is putting the three keepers through an equally testing series of exercises and routines until such time that they are called upon to help with the main group.

Training took place amidst the sound of rolling thunder and again we heard the "storm warning imminent" klaxon but the training went on unabated as it was just a short while later that we heard the "all clear" klaxon.

After training we returned to the golf club for lunch and then onwards to our hotel for a short relaxation period during which the players have the opportunity of visiting the medical staffs clinic.

Then at 4 o'clock it was time off and snacks and an opportunity for Matt Springham to explain in a "Units Analysis Session" the GPS system and the incredible data it provides for staff and players alike. 

It was extremely informative and explained how invaluable the GPS (Global Positioning System) is. Without going into too much detail here, it provides in depth information on each individual players performance, whether jogging, running, sprinting etc etc etc, and from the numerous figures collated each day after each training session, Matt is able to provide and display the figures for all to see. 

Such information is invaluable to the staff to monitor each players performance and body capabilities which will be of significant value throughout the long season ahead, on occasions such as when a player has been injured and he is looking to return to where he was physically prior to being injured. 

In truth I have probably not given full credit to the system and it's capabilities, but rest assured its value to the coaching, conditioning and medical staff, and not least the players. is enormous.

Prior to the evening session we had the opportunity to watch briefly part of the Netherlands versus Argentina World Cup semi final. 

We've had few opportunities to watch the goings on in Brazil as the matches have tended to clash with our training programme. 

A number of hotel guests on seeing that we were a "soccer club" wanted to know why we weren't at the World Cup. 

Maybe they thought Brentford Football Club would have done better than the previous "soccer team" in Brazil!

At 5.30pm it was off to IMG again and the regular agenda kicked in as set out above. This evening it was Level Two.

Then back to the hotel at 8pm for dinner and not long after to bed.

Three days to go.

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