First things first, I’m knackered, so I’ll keep this blog short and sweet. Just a few thoughts on what’s been going on, and a few videos from the QPR site.
Even after all these years, I still get a buzz driving into the training ground on the first day of pre-season training. It’s always good to see all the lads and the coaching staff again after a summer away from it all. There used to be a time that you’d all have a pop at the lads who’d let themselves go a wee bit, but everyone was in decent shape this year. The only real shocks this season where how big Armand Traore’s beard had got and how many new motors were in the car park – it’s all a bit of a change from when I used to bum a lift to training at City off my dad. It’s also worth checking out where they stuck Shaun’s boots in the boot room – some would call it banter, others would call it picking on the little fella!
Another thing that’s changed over those dozen or so years is the level of sophistication of training and fitness tests we do. We all have full check ups including full body scans and VO2 max testing – of which you’ll be glad to know I was named team champion once again. Another thing worth watching is Armand cracking his head off the ceiling – he’s a good lad, but half that jump was down to his flat top! Here’s a video of a few of the boys being out through their paces…
But for me, pre-season really starts when you’re out on the training pitches and putting in some proper hard graft. Once again there have been some changes over the years: there are more specialist fitness coaches these days, there’s more of an emphasis on tailored training for individual players and more resistance-based training. One thing never changes though and that’s the bleep test – I did all right on that one too to be fair and Esteban Granero was an absolute beast – he was still running while the rest of us were hyperventilating on the grass.
Overall it’s been a good start to pre-season for all the lads, and everyone’s looking forward to playing with Rio, and hoping that we manage to keep everyone together until the start of the season. Next up are a couple of games over in Germany, before flying back to London for games against Orient and Southend. I’ll let you know how it all goes.