As day two in Tenerife drew to a close, Manager Keith Hill spoke to Dale Player to give his views on the first four sessions of the pre-season camp.
“The first three days back in England were probably taking the players to breaking point, both physically and mentally, but we’ve certainly picked them up.
“The intensity of the training sessions has been incredible. What we’ve witnessed has been absolutely superb and so has the quality. We’ve witnessed enthusiasm and you can see the players growing in confidence, self-belief and their ability. Their fitness is also improving.
“They’re all physically and mentally tired, but we’re keeping the sessions to a minimum to get the optimum quality and their enthusiasm is superb. We as staff feed off that and we’re putting on some really good sessions for the players and they’ve responded really well.
“We’ve bought new training sessions to the table and when you bring something new to the table, it takes a little bit of response time. You have to repeat those sessions because you don’t always get what you want first time around, but the players have shown that they can adapt and they can quickly learn.
“We need to retain what was good at last season but build on it and that’s why we’ve changed. We haven’t changed our philosophy but we’ve certainly changed our session planning. We’re definitely focussing on ways to improve, not just the players, but the staff as well, and so far I’m really pleased.”
The second session of the day saw the players split into four groups of seven. With 27 players in the squad, Tony Ellis joined in to even out the numbers (and proved he’s still got it as he finished into the bottom corner!). The session consisted of several 2minute 7v7 games and was an absolute joy to watch as the lads looked in great form. It was a highly energetic session, with the players working non-stop.
Hill was delighted with what he saw.
“There’s a maximum that we can ask from the players time-wise, so we’re asking for everything in a small space of time and we got it this evening. We’re always asking and probing the players with respect to what we want from each session and we want those key factors to be achieved.
“This evening’s session is probably one of the best sessions we’ve had and everything went according to plan. It probably couldn’t have gone any better - we had the full co-operation and the full understanding of the players. If the players commit and get it wrong, we can accept it, but this evening they committed and got it 100% right – every single one of them. It was really enjoyable to watch and coach.”