Training camp diary – Day 11

Back to work after a day off

The Bleu-blanc-noir players and technical staff benefited from a little day off, on Thursday, after a tough week at the office. This first week of camp, crucial but exhausting, with its three daily training sessions, culminated with the Impact’s first preseason game, the result already known by now. Having gone through the experience of facing their first opponent, the time has come to step it up on the technical and tactical side of things.

At 9am, the bus leaves the hotel in Sarasota, heading towards Lakewood Ranch and the fields of Premier Sports Campus, about half an hour away. We then hit the ground running. Fitness coach Robert Duverne guides the players through warm-up and drills without the ball. They run the length of the field more than a few times, the first half being completed at a good pace and the other one with a jog, but soon, they go the full length at running speed. During that time, goalkeeper coach Rémy Vercoutre sharpens the reflexes and strength of Evan Bush, Clément Diop, James Pantemis and Jonathan Sirois.

It’s then time to have some fun: finishing drills. On the left and on the right, five men complete a pattern of passes, which then leads to a cross in the box, where two teammates await, hoping to score. In the middle, a player works as a pivot, holding off assistant coach Wilfried Nancy before laying it off for a teammate who shoots from outside the box. Let’s just say that the nets are now a bit more worn than before we started, despite the goalkeepers’ best efforts.

In the afternoon, the team had a second session, but it was a little lighter. We start with warm-up and a bit of running, as always. Then, it’s time for rondos, and finally, a possession game that involves all players. Two teams of 11 face each other but there’s a catch: you have to complete eight passes with either one or two touches of the ball before being allowed to attack.

We also want to mention that temperatures are rising and the Florida sun is finally gracing us with its presence. We’re thinking about you, Montreal.