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A LETTER FROM AMERICA - DAY ONE

3 July 2014

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

A subtle difference between last year's training camp and that which awaited the squad of Championship newcomers Brentford this year....a matter of 3,800 miles, it being the travelling differential between Brentford/Leipzig (2013) and Brentford/Sarasota (2014). 
And I think as the ten day training schedule runs its course, there will be many other aspects that will differentiate between the two, not least the temperature which was 31c (88f in old money) at 10pm. 
Don't get me wrong, the proof of the pudding of last year's camp was the prize of promotion as a reward for a season which will be long remembered by Bees fans young and old. 
But already, after just seven days since the players returned from a six week break, the level of fitness and sheer quality in the squad is plain for all to see, with each and every one of them straining at the leash to prepare themselves for the exciting season ahead. 
Being in the privileged position of being able to witness at first hand the processes and screenings that the medical team, under the expert eye of Head of Medical Neil Greig, organise for the players to check their bodies out almost inch by inch from head to toe, gives you a real feel of where Brentford Football Club are now. 
Gone are the days when players returned from a long summer only to be whisked over to Richmond Park to run up and down the hills in an effort to trim those extra pounds off. 
Not now.....they come back as the consummate professionals that they are, ready in mind, spirit and most certainly body for the challenge ahead, and Neil's team of highly qualified experts are there to give them the very best of advice for their continued health and well being. 
That even included each player and member of staff being measured up expertly to receive a 'made to measure' pair of flight socks to help prevent DVT during the nine hour plus flight. 
I have to say we looked the part as we donned our specially designed black stockings/popsox pre flight! 
The day started early with a 6.30am meet at the Training Ground in readiness for a 7am sharp departure by coach to Gatwick. 
Unfortunately for two of the players they failed to get to Jersey Road by the deadline for whatever reason and therefore had to drive themselves to Gatwick to meet the rest of the party. 
A costly error of judgement, as apart from a players' fine they also had to incur the cost of 'long term parking' at the airport and even worse the derision from the other players upon their arrival. 
In answer to your next question.......no I won't as "what goes on on tour, stays on tour". 
The plane was set out in a 3-3-3 formation which was definitely not of a Mark Warburton's choosing. 
For my three, I was seated alongside the aforementioned Neil Greig and the Club Physio Daryl Martin, which, when you are my age, is most comforting and reassuring for a long flight. 
The flight was good, albeit a lengthy one, and probably would have been that little bit better had it not been for the one child who decided to let everyone know she was awake for about two hours! 
I was hoping to catch up with a couple of films had it not been for the faulty head set I had. 
Instead I swotted up on my Spanish for a good few hours and can now confirm that "tiempe estimado de llegado" means estimated time of arrival, whilst "viente de cara" means headwind. 
I was a bit concerned at one point though having dropped off as a relief from my BA Spanish lesson, only to look at the screen to see we were heading for Sydney, although on further investigation if appears there is a town of that name near Newfoundland, and we hadn't veered drastically off course. 
We arrived in Tampa on time and having completed immigration procedures, boarded the coach for the one hour plus journey to our base for the next ten days, The Hyatt Regency. 
After a long long day there was just time for the players to have a short spell in the outdoor pool before dinner and what may have seemed a comparatively early night, albeit it equated to about 3am London time. 
Day Two will see us make our first trip to the world class sporting complex that is IMG, about 15 minutes from here, where the majority of the squads training will take place. 
I will also let you into the secret as to the link between us and one of the World Cup teams. 
Peter Gilham

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