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“We are one group out here and that is how it has to be all season”

Dean Smith outlines his plans for the Pre-season Training Camp in France

8 July 2017

Head Coach Dean Smith believes that a successful Training Camp this week in France can lay a lot of foundations for a successful Sky Bet Championship season to come.

The Bees arrived at their base for the next week, in Divonne-Les-Bains, earlier this evening after a long day of travelling from West London. After a brief dip in the outdoor pool to aid recovery following last night’s friendly win over Aldershot Town, the players and staff gathered for a meeting where Dean spelled out what he would like to see from this trip.

“I had a conversation with the players when they first came in but a few of the players were away on international duty so I knew that when we first arrived at the hotel it would be a good chance for me to spell out my thoughts and ideas about what will make us a successful team this season,” said Dean, speaking to iFollow. “That includes the team spirit and the team bonding which will be part and parcel of this trip, hard work and pushing their limits as individuals and as a team, and the individual discipline to get better. I want to see all those qualities come out and I want to see leaders in the group. From there we can take it forward and have a successful season.”

As well as the physical and tactical work which will be a feature of the week, Dean also sees this time away as a perfect chance to grow a bond amongst the group. Dean feels there’s a real need to strike a balance between hard work and entertainment to help bring the players and staff closer together.

“We have four players who need to perform as a group tomorrow with a bit of a sing song but there will also be some forfeits for team competitions during training, just to make it that little bit more competitive,” said Dean. “The losing team will be doing some group entertainment and that will also include members of staff as well. We want to make it an enjoyable trip because we know how hard it is going to be and how hard we are going to work. There is also that fun element as well. We are one group out here and that is how it has to be all season. The supporters will be included in that but while we are out here we will take some people out of their comfort zone so it will be interesting.”

Saturday’s stage of the Tour De France finished a little under 20 miles away at the Station Des Rousses with three of the principal teams, Team Sky, Movistar, and AG2R La Mondiale, sharing the hotel with the team tonight. And, with Nice and Valencia also in town, Dean said he, the staff, and the players been able to pick up a few learning points across the day.

“We got to Geneva and Valencia were there with a team bus waiting to pick them up,” said Dean. “Nice have been here and, because the Tour De France is very close, we have Team Sky here. It is a very busy place at the moment but it is great for all the players and the staff because we can go and speak to them and ask a few questions about how their sport is run and what they do.” 

You can watch the full interview below:

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