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Season 2014/15

City EDS and Academy Tour Blog: Day Five

  • 18 July 2014 20:15
  • Posted by @markbooth_mcfc / pics by @vhaydn_mcfc

Following a late night spent editing together Thierry Ambrose’s One to Watch and the second part of Jack Byrne’s Tour Diary, it was the players’ turn for hard graft on the fifth morning in Croatia.

You can watch the fruits of our labour on the website now: Thierry’s interview is here and Jack’s second dispatch is here.

Over breakfast a fair bit of stick came my way as a result of the frankly shocking fitness levels I displayed during the filming of last night’s Goalkeeper Camp video.

Sadly, I haven’t managed to pry CityTV cameraman Lee Jones’s hard drive out of his hands to destroy the evidence, so unless I manage it before the weekend, you’ve got that to look forward to…

I’ll just stay off Twitter until it all blows over.

I walked up to the training pitches with last season’s EDS top scorer Jordy Hiwula to capture his Q and A piece for the Match Day programme and was in fine form as he gave me his bests and worsts in football and life.

(By the way, every single one of the players I've interviewed so far has put the name of James Horsfield up as best trainer.)

Once we arrived at the top pitch, it soon became apparent that it was the hottest day yet here.

I’m not usually one for sweating but you didn’t even need to move before it would be pouring out of you, from your forehead into your eyes – so spare a thought for those expected to maintain their intensity through what looked like another energy-sapping morning’s work for the lads.

After a cardio-heavy pre-activation with Strength and Conditioning Coach Matt Cook, the balls were out of their bags and it was time for the technical workout with Patrick Vieira.

The pitch was set out sideways, from one touchline to the other over one half of the pitch.

Unmanned hockey goals were at either end of the pitch, turned around to face a solitary player in a small coned off box.

Two teams of six played between the goals and it was their task to feed the player behind the net, utilizing the one playmaker with a red bib on, who would switch sides depending on which team was in possession.

It was a really entertaining watch as Vieira challenged his players to react to being with and without possession, resetting for the transition and attempting to exploit gaps on the counter.

Still with me? No? Watch the clip below and all will become clear... just keep an eye out for Olivier Ntcham’s casual, improvised flick.

We left training early to set up for one of the main interviews in our ten days here - sitting down with the boss himself, Mr Vieira.

 My previous two feature-length sit-downs with Patrick at the start of last season and in the middle have undoubtedly been two stand out moments of my two and a bit years at City but this was probably the pick of the bunch.

We talked about his time in Brazil at the World Cup this summer, tactical trends in the tournament, his first year in coaching, Marcos Lopes’s loan move to Lille, the EDS Player of the Year contenders and much, much more.

He also spoke in glowing terms about the members of his EDS squad currently with the first-team in Scotland.

See what he had to say here…

When the serious chat was out the way, it was time for #AskPatrick where the EDS boss answered your questions.

Which three players from Patrick’s World Cup winning squad of 1998 would improve the City first-team? Which City players will make great coaches? Does he prefer chips with gravy or curry sauce?

You’ll have to wait until Monday to find out!

Before lunch, we gathered in front of the hotel for a group picture which really brought home the sheer scale of the travelling party.

Earlier in the day, fellow MCFC journo Alex Porter was keeping a close eye on the under-18s on the other field where Tosin Adarabioyo was causing quite the stir.

I’ll let Alex tell you for herself… 

Oh, go on then... a very lively and competitive training exercise was keeping the young squad on their toes and the assembled locals entertained.

The game was designed to test short bursts of pace by getting the participants to run between different coloured cones at a given signal, and if you were caught on the wrong one, the forfeit was five push ups.

Think of it as similar to musical chairs…. with added perspiration.

Unfortunately, the rules were proving somewhat beyond Tosin and he found himself down for a few more push ups than the rest.

Watching from the sidelines, u18s Head Coach Jason Wilcox quipped that he couldn’t wait to see his impending GCSE results… Bit harsh that, Jason!

When Tosin had finished his work out, we grabbed him and fellow defender Cameron Humphreys to shoot the latest installment of CityTV feature ‘Teammates’. 

The duo disagreed on almost every question in our very entertaining 10 minute of filming and they were forced to settle the debate over who was strongest with an impromptu arm wrestle.

We’re keeping tight lipped on the winner, but you’ll be able to see the results on the website tomorrow. 

In the afternoon, the EDS and u18 boys were given a break from the suffocating heat but there was no let-up in the work, as they hit the gym inside for a couple of hours before dinner.

They're now resting in their rooms, no doubt "Snapchatting" and listening to Drake, or whatever it is that young footballers do in the privacy of their hotel rooms...

There will be no blog tomorrow as the EDS take on HNK Gorica in their first proper pre-season friendly in the evening (8pm BST), while the under-18s are in action against FC Istra in the morning (9.30am BST).

You can read a match preview here. We’ll have live goal updates on Twitter, as well as a match report and highlights from both games on mcfc.co.uk.

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