Brentford goalkeeper Daniel Bentley feels that the spirit and togetherness he has seen in the Brentford camp this week could make all the difference as The Bees look ahead to the new Sky Bet Championship campaign.
Speaking to iFollow Brentford after another tough day on the pre-season Training Camp in Divonne-Les-Bains, Daniel, who turned 24 today, said: “It’s been really enjoyable so far. The team spirit is just getting better and better. Every time that anyone mentions it you can just see the way that the players integrate with each other. You can see the banter that goes on but we also all push each other. Today was a great example, doing the running and finishing. We had boys around the pitch who weren’t working but they were making sure that the boys were getting their work in and encouraging them. Camaraderie is going to be so important if we want to achieve the things that we want to achieve this year. It is a great thing to have and we have it in abundance.”
Alongside the togetherness and team spirit, Daniel believes one of the other keys to the season will be the way that players look after themselves away from the Training Ground. The Bees are encouraged not to always rely on staff for help but instead take responsibility for their own wellbeing, something Daniel believes the group has really bought into.
“One of the things that is filtered down from the very top is self-management,” said Daniel. “We are self-managing athletes and we have got a squad of players, and a squad of men, who take full responsibility for their wellbeing. That’s in terms of what they eat, what they drink, and how they sleep. How they look after themselves away from the training ground and away from the club is important. We have a group of players who have been put together for the right reasons and that can be trusted away from the training ground. We try to look after each other and ourselves, and try not to rely too much on the information from the staff although it’s there if we need it.”
Alongside Luke Daniels and Goalkeeping Coach Simon Royce, Daniel said much of the week has been spent getting used to the new EFL balls which will be used this season. The Bees keeper revealed that the new match balls do a lot more in the air than previous balls and admitted they are taking a bit of getting adapting to.
“We have new balls this year and they have gone a little bit retro,” said Daniel. “They have jazzy little lines on them and little indents so whoever designed the balls was trying to stitch the goalkeepers up because they move even more this year. Pre-season is about getting used to the ball and seeing the ball from our point of view from shots and crosses from different angles and distances. It is all relative with the outfield players getting a touch of the ball to us getting a touch of the ball with handling. That is a big part of what we do alongside the fitness part. I pride myself on coming back into pre-season training having worked hard for two or three weeks in my off-season so I come in at a level I am comfortable with.”