Back by popular demand, the Nigel Dempster/Samuel Pepys of the Fleet returns – as diarist and club secretary Peter Danzey reports from Ebbsfleet United’s Portuguese training base once again.
And in his first despatch from the front line, Pete reports that: “The team landed in Faro on Sunday evening, 10 minutes late, but thanks to the speed of the baggage handling service (Gatwick please note) we arrived at the hotel on time. Straight into dinner, which was all incredibly healthy much to the distress of myself, Mrs Danzey and the vice chairman.
“Daryl McMahon then held a team meeting to outline what he expected of the squad this season and how he wants the team to play. With the assistance of the University of Greenwich, an awful lot of hard work has gone into the sports science and fitness programmes and watching training today you can see the pain on the players’ faces. The first day is definitely the worst but despite the break, all the players have come back in top physical condition and followed the summer programmes they were given. Despite being ‘off-duty’ over the past two months, the players’ self-discipline and professionalism in that time has seen them return in excellent shape and the Fleet management were extremely pleased with them – and it made the first-day exercises here in Portugal a little easier than might otherwise have been the case.
“Ron Hillyard, as previously reported, has stepped down as goalkeeping coach to spend some more time with his family and he is certainly now and will be missed – but new goalkeeping coach Michael Jordan has fitted in really quickly and has put Nathan Ashmore and Jonathan Miles through their paces already (see photo below).
“The entire first-team squad is out here in Portugal for the week along with Academy graduate full-backs Karn Miller-Neave and Ollie Boulding, while we also have a Portuguese trialist training with us so Daryl and his staff are running the rule over him.”