Summer tour: Bailey blog 4
- 12 July 2011 03:12
- Posted by Chris Bailey in Los Angeles
This was the day to which the players were least looking forward. After the fun of an afternoon and evening off came the start of the double training sessions.
The running drills in favourable cloudy early morning conditions were tiring to watch. The squad was split into groups with fitness coach Ivan Carminati, David Platt, Brian Kidd and the boss himself all present to lick them into shape – not literally of course (that would be very wrong!).
Lung bursting sprints with and without the ball were interspersed with interval training with some feeling the pace and the pain more than others.
The wingers, all sinew and bone, skipped across the energy-sapping grass with their customary fleetness of foot. Johnson and Weiss led the charge but Milner also looked trained to the minute and actually appeared as though he was enjoying the session. He certainly had enough energy to fire a shot at me ‘just to check you were alive’.
The masseurs’ open air tables were busy before the start of work with Nigel de Jong’s ankles mummified and Yaya Toure nursing some blisters and a yen for the ball work to start. But they both ended the morning with a smile on their faces, perhaps because they avoided the six ice bins into which some players are plunged.
Embryonic LA Dodgers star Joe Hart, after more than an hour limbo dancing and high jumping with goalkeeping coach Massimo Battara, was happy to cool down and recount his triumphant or as he would say ‘decent’ performance on the pitcher’s mound (insert your own ‘Carry On’ joke here).
Equally hard working are the kit crew led by Chappy who have to deliver all the training gear and furniture to LMU at the crack of dawn and then shift it in a sizeable truck the forty minutes to Home Deport before bringing it all back for the next day.
Scores of cones, poles, mats, beds, balls, bibs, and giant inflatable dummies – affectionately referred to as Richard Dunne’s chess set in honour of the former skipper – are carted around with military precision.
All the support staff pitch in where they can as it can be an onerous task.
After all that effort there was still some work to do for a few of the lads with Micah Richards staying awake long enough to issue forth his latest diary entry and Gareth Barry and Vladimir Weiss kind enough to stop by and chat to citytv.
We hope you enjoy their interviews and the feature with the new doc. There will be more tomorrow when we hope to talk to super sharp duo Lescott and Milner.
The former was in his element when he met up with Minnesota Vikings running back Adrian Peterson at the team hotel where NFL star was doing a photo shoot. Lescott is a big fan of gridiron as you will find out when we speak to him.