Pools boss Craig Hignett brings us the first entry in his diary from the Club's pre-season training camp in Tenerife.
Monday 11th July 2016, 2pm
Hello everyone and welcome to my first entry in a Blog I will be doing throughout our seven days here in Tenerife for the squad’s training camp.
It was a long day on Sunday getting the travelling out of the way and we were actually delayed by about an hour in taking off from Manchester which put us behind schedule obviously. In the end, we managed to get checked-in to our hotel here in time for the second half of the Euro 2016 Final – though after watching ten minutes of that I think some of the lads wished we hadn’t!
The hotel and the rooms here have been excellent – but it’s not really that side of things that we’ve come for. We’re here to work hard and do some training and I have to say the facilities for us to do that here are second to none.
As soon as we arrived last night, myself and the rest of the staff went straight up to the training complex we’ll be using which is called Top Training Tenerife. The pitches are immaculate, the equipment is superb and they have everything we could possibly need. I would go so far as to say that in all my years involved in football it’s the best training facility I have been to, underlined by how brilliant the staff there have been. They stayed for our full session this morning to ensure everything was perfect for us, they simply couldn’t have done more.
It was a good first session for the players too. We wanted to ease them in to it a little bit to get the journey out of their legs but, once we’d done the long warm-up, we were able to get through a lot of great work. We moved in to some attacking play and working on how to open up defences before also touching on defending and shape.
As the week goes on they will see there is a reason why we do things. Tomorrow’s session will lead on from today’s and so on. We’ll concentrate more on the attacking side of things on Tuesday but the emphasis will change as the week goes on and we’ll do more on defending as individuals and as a unit.
We have to be careful with the way the temperature can rise out here because today was fairly cool in comparison to some of the heat they have had recently, apparently. We started at 9.30am because we were a little conscious of that but the guy looking after us here says that heat is heat and it doesn’t really matter if we start a little later so tomorrow it will be 10am. That gives the lads that little extra time to get some breakfast and make sure they have the right fluids on board too.
We finished today’s session with a little recovery work in the pool which was a nice bonus for the lads. It gets all the lactic acid out of their legs a little quicker and hopefully means they stay in good shape for the rest of the week.
We will go back to the training centre at 4pm today to complete a strength and conditioning session with them in the gym. We don’t normally do that much leg work with them because it’s a tough week but they’ll get through that today and then we’ll go again tomorrow.
What this week is also good for is the team spirit side of things and we’re already seeing a bit of that develop even during the early sessions of pre-season. Here they will be in each other’s pockets for the week and that can only help them forge a good team ethic which is something that will undoubtedly help as the long season unfolds.
The only down side of the opening day was the news that Jake Orrell had to pull out of the morning session after feeling his thigh a bit. Hopefully it’s nothing too serious but it’s still a blow for him and us because it means he’s likely to miss the rest of the training this week after looking extremely lively since coming in to the Club during the summer.
Right, that’s that for the first Blog from over here in Tenerife but keep an eye out for another update from me on the Official Website on Tuesday.