Thursday night’s session was described by the lads as being ‘brutal.’ Short but rapid bursts of running, brief rest and running again followed by quick-paced small pitch pressing and pushing. The session of around an hour tested fitness levels to the limit.
Friday’s only session, which started at around 9.30am, was all about match preparation. Steve Eyre led the first drills, all about moving forwards quickly and efficiently, whilst also working on turning defenders and setting up one-two opportunities.
Then a rarity at this stage of the preparation, activity on a full-sized pitch. Not quite a match, but many match elements were replicated. Possession protection at the back was stage one until Gary Caldwell blew his whistle and then the pass forwards had to come and the attackers, playing against two banks of four, had to find a way through.
The defenders’ incentive was, if they got the ball, five subsequent completed passes earned a ‘goal.’
The pick of the real goals was a volley from Joe Rowley after a sublime chipped pass from Louis Reed, not bad for two teenagers, earning a quip from Eyre that he had ‘boxer shorts older than them two!’
Chris O’Grady joined in the session fully and Tommy Lee was also involved, but Jordan Sinnott sat out again (quad), as did Jerome Binnom-Williams (ankle) and Kristian Dennis (calf), though Sinnott did plenty of jogging and other exercises alongside fitness coach Gareth Piper.
Food and rest are the watchwords for the rest of the day. There’s a light session on Saturday morning, with team shape high on the agenda, ahead of the match against Middlesbrough (6.30pm) in Vila Real de Santa Antonio as the Spireites seek to continue their impressive pre-season form against Garry Monk’s Championship side who’ve just signed Danish International Martin Braithwaite from Toulouse to add to the likes of new faces Cyrus Christie (Derby) and Jonny Howson (Norwich).