Fleet’s returning playing squad was put through a rigorous fitness assessment programme last Thursday and Friday prior to their departure for the summer training camp in Portugal.
And despite their two-month lay-off, all the players achieved outstanding results from their “bleep” (fitness) tests, demonstrating that every one of them had kept to the summer fitness programme devised by Daryl McMahon, Steve Gritt and David Jupp.
The players flew out to Portugal on Friday (see photo) but the journey was not without its drama, as our spy in the camp – club secretary Peter Danzey – reports. The flight was delayed by 45 minutes and nearly didn’t take off at all after an argument broke out between a number of passengers with the captain threatening to go back to the terminal and call the police!
Once safely holed up in their destination, the players had a double session on Saturday and a triple workout on Sunday. The manager’s training-camp rules means they have to be in bed by 11pm – not something that has caused any issue as the squad have been worked hard and they’re usually fairly tired long before then!
Peter Danzey reports that food at the complex is “top drawer” and he’s taking full advantage of not being subject to the players’ strict nutritional programme!
And while the training regime is intense, there is some downtime – with Peter Varney’s challenge to Stacy Long on the tennis courts ended only by a gashed knee and blistered hand after the vice chairman failed to deal with a deft Long lob.
The players and management are reported to be impressed with the facilities while the pitch at the complex is of a great standard, watered four times a day and it has even been measured out to the exact Stonebridge Road dimensions to get the players up to speed for their forthcoming campaign.
Sunday night was quiz night – so watch this space to find out who the football geniuses (or otherwise) are in the squad!
The only complaint thus far has come from Dean Rance who has expressed disappointment at not having a four-poster bed of the type he is apparently used to at home.