THERE’s been no time for a Siesta here in Benahavis with the Barnsley players being put through their paces under the watchful eye of manager Keith Hill and his loyal assistant, David Flitcroft, writes Neil Goulding.
It’s seven days of tough graft for the Reds as Hill and Flicker push their squad to the limit to make sure they’re ready for the exciting challenges which lie ahead.
This week in the scorching sun is not about rest - although the Reds players will need it by the end of a week which will test them physically and mentally as their preparations for the new Championship season intensify.
There’s now little over a month until the new league campaign kicks off on Saturday, August 18 at home to Middlesbrough, with a mouth-watering Carling Cup fixture at Rochdale to contend with four days earlier as Hill and Flitcroft return to their former club.
I’ve spoken to a lot of the players who went on the club’s intensive training trip last season and they all found it tough going. But by the end of the week there was a shared opinion that the hard work and team bonding had been extremely beneficial.
And the belief for this week’s camp is very much the same - working hard to get back into the groove and to integrate the club’s summer signings will reap it’s rewards.
The first day of training was focused on conditioning without the ball. Hill is hungry for his squad to be as physically fit as they can, but also mentally strong so they can maintain their concentration for the full 90 minutes. The conditioning is aimed to help both of those areas.
There was chance for a bite to eat and some welcome rest time in the afternoon, before the squad headed out for their final and second training session of the day in the evening after the temperatures had dropped a little.
But there’s no respite for the players, with fitness top of the priority list. There are double sessions every day until the squad fly home on Sunday.