The last training session took place this morning, Peter Danzey reports from Portugal, with all eyes now on tomorrow’s friendly against Shrewsbury Town.
After a gentle morning warm-up, the emphasis for the rest of the day was on ball work as opposed to a fitness schedule. After two separate sessions of five/six-a-side in different parts of our excellent training facility at Vale Do Lobo, the players finally got down to what they have been looking forward to and that was a match between themselves.
There was no indication in Macca’s selections of who would be first choice for the season opener since the lineups were mixed. For example, in one defensive setup, Dave Winfield was partnered with Yado Mambo and in another it was Kenny Clark alongside Sam Magri and Ollie Boulding at right back… so no clues there! Nathan Ashmore was in goal behind Clark and Magri, while Jonathan Miles lined up behind Winfield and Mambo for their game.
The players spent the afternoon relaxing, some swimming and even some partaking in a friendly game of ping-pong. The hotel facilities are first-class and it is very interesting to see the players of Ebbsfleet in their red mingling with players from Sporting Lisbon in green and black – we’re not sure what the holidaymakers made of it, however! We also eyed up the rather swanky Sporting Lisbon team bus (see photo bottom) as it pulled out of the hotel car park.
The final Tensiomyography (TMG) tests with Kelly Cooper, the Senior Sports Science Technician, took place so the players will be aware of what muscles need toning over the next few weeks (see photo).
So we now look forward to the game with Shrewsbury on Saturday with an 11.30am kick-off when hopefully the heat won’t be too intense. It looks like two “elevens” at least will be the order of the day and our new home kit will get its first airing.
Peter will bring us a report and photos from the game tomorrow.
In other news, squad numbers for the 2017/18 season will be released on Monday.