Spireites in Spain: Injury update and a step up in intensity
The Chesterfield players are ticking off the tasks set for them and asking for more, in what has thus far been a positive pre-season camp in Spain.
Only an ankle injury of as-yet-unconfirmed severity to Jerome Binnom-Williams has given the coaching staff cause for concern as they move into the second half of their trip.
The left wing-back, who has been an impressive performer in the friendlies to date, sat out this morning’s session and is unlikely to play further part on tour.
Bar that set-back, it’s all blue skies and sunshine – literally and metaphorically – for assistant manager Steve Eyre.
The former Rochdale boss, who alongside manager Gary Caldwell delivered an energetic and inspiring team meeting before training, was a happy man as the players headed for the bus back to the hotel.
“Delighted, really pleased,” he said.
“We had a meeting this morning at the hotel and went through some long term targets and gains we want to achieve.
“Initially this morning we told the lads there would be a step up in the intensity for training, we know there will be a step up in the games programme so we’ve got to be ready for that.
“I’ve got to say the lads are in great condition and everything we’re setting up for them they’re completing and wanting more.”
The team meeting focused on things they will have to do during games in order to achieve their goals in the 2017/18 season.
Caldwell and his assistant were also seeking to identify leaders among the group.
And having been satisfied with the response they got from the squad, the pair turned their attention to another tough day on the training ground.
“We’re encouraging feedback and interaction,” said Eyre.
“Obviously the manager and myself are leading but we’re trying to get leadership from the group and we think we’re seeing that every morning and afternoon.
“It’s important we recover for a couple of hours, rehydrate and eat together, spend a bit of time socially.
“Then it’s important the lads have a bit of private time, if they want to ring their families or go and have a sleep.
“We’ve said we’ll go even harder again tonight and it’s relentless at the moment but the lads are looking at us as if to say that’s completed, what’s next. “That’s fantastic.”
Although the players enjoyed a day off yesterday, following their 0-0 draw with Benfica B on Tuesday night, there has been no collective letting down of the hair and no heavy drinking sessions that can sometimes feature in trips of this nature.
The height of the excitement came on the golf course or in the pool.
Eyre believes it’s vital the squad relax but stay switched on with another game against Middlesbrough lined up on Saturday.
So ‘a few drinks’ will have to wait.
“It’s not that kind of trip really, we haven’t done that yet,” he said.
“We’re training in the evening, getting back and by the time we’re showed, spoken to families and eaten there isn’t much time for socialising.
“We’re intending to put in a performance against Middlesbrough on Saturday and we might be able to get a couple of hours social time.
“But we do have to get ready for our flight home and then the games programme next week.
“It’s all in hand and all part of the itinerary, we’re just loving spending time with the players on and off the field at the moment.”
Today’s session saw a return to full participation for Jordan Sinnott, who had been struggling with a sore quad.
Kristian Dennis didn’t take part in the squad session, instead being put through some running by physio Michael McBride.
Chris O’Grady, struggling with blisters, was also absent from the drills and training games but did train.
There was one player relegated to the role of spectator, however.
Eyre revealed: “We had a rolled ankle for Jerome Binnom-Williams which is probably going to take him out of the tour and out of the game on Saturday.
“We’re pleased that Jordan Sinnott has only had to miss one session and come back in.
“People like Tommy Lee, he’s sneaking back into the sessions and doing more and more each day so it’s all positive.”