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Holland diary - day six

22 July 2016

Players back on the training pitch for the penultimate day

So we’ve reached the final full day of the pre-season tour, and in typical fashion we’ll start by talking about the weather.

After being granted a day off on Thursday the squad knew they were in for two tough training sessions today.

With that in mind I’d guess many of them were praying for much cooler conditions than what they’ve put up with so far, and incredibly they got it.

We woke up to torrential rain in Doorwerth this morning, none heavier than at 8am, the time of the morning run.

Breakfast followed before a tough morning session of running followed by 7v7 games which were played at a ridiculously high tempo.

What people who haven’t watched a professional side train won’t realise, is just how seriously the players take it.

At Fleetwood the training games count for something, which each player on the winning side of each game gaining a point, those points tallied up throughout the pre-season to see which players win more than others.

It’s a great way of making otherwise meaningless training games competitive, and boy do they.

It was great to see a senior player tear a strip of one of his fellow team mates for not making that extra 10 yard run to block a cross, you get the feeling these players are developing a real hunger to succeed, that should stand them in good stead for the season.

Lunch followed before the usual couple of hours rest for the players, before afternoon sessions which involved running and a full 11v11 practice match - watching that had more stopping and starting than an American football game.

Manager Steven Pressley and his assistant Neil MacFarlane constantly stepping-in to coach the players, literally no stone is left unturned.

Tomorrow is the final day of our trip and we travel to face top-flight side FC Roda.

While we don’t expect them to be as strong as AZ Alkmaar, there’s no doubt they’ll be a side of real quality and most likely well above the standard we’ll be facing in League One next season.

The good news is almost everyone is fit to take part, with only two players unavailable, so we should see a much more competitive display from the side.

After the game we’ll head straight to the airport to head home, it’s been a top class trip so far.

It’s almost over, just one more day.

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