The heat's on footballers as they go through their pre-seasons ahead of the new season with coaches keeping a close eye on them as they sweat it out.MATTHEW GALEA January 29, 2014 4:05am
There’s a bit more sweat being poured into pre-season than usual at the moment, as Shepparton braces for a second heatwave in the space of a month.
Not even temperatures topping 40°C will be enough to keep some of Shepparton’s biggest football and soccer clubs off the training track as clubs continue their preparations for the upcoming season, but coaches have acknowledged common sense sometimes has to prevail.
Shepparton coach Brad Campbell, Shepparton Swans mentor Brett Warburton and Shepparton South Soccer Club senior coach Reno Lia have all said training would go ahead for their respective sides through the extreme heat expected during the coming weeks.
‘‘You just have to be a bit mindful of it,’’ Campbell said.
‘‘The fact is that most clubs probably have quite a few tradies in the group and most of those guys will be outside for the majority of the day, so it varies from person to person.
‘‘We’ve let our boys know that when we do train in the heat that if they’re not feeling great then they have to tell me so that we can monitor them through the session.’’
Warburton said training nights weren’t rescheduled for the heat, although revisions to the training schedule were made, with the potential to throw in more swimming or weights sessions to keep the players out of the blistering heat.
‘‘We just monitor and, if need be, shorten the training,’’ Warburton said.
‘‘We review the running program that we’re trying to get through and I’ll send messages to the boys throughout the day to make sure they’re staying hydrated.
‘‘We don’t get the option of training in the morning, so we’ve just got to take care really, we make sure they have more drink breaks through the night and make sure they’re rehydrating after training.’’
Shepparton South’s Lia said his side’s pre-season training program had mostly been about skill training.
‘‘We just have to tone down the conditioning side a bit,’’ Lia said.
‘‘We’re not with the players 24-7, so we can’t monitor exactly what they’re taking in, but the design of our whole program is based around using the balls.
‘‘We’ve pumped our pre-season up with a lot of practice matches which we think will help because it gives us more of an opportunity to rotate players and have a look at more players without having to get everyone 90 minutes.’’
Campbell agreed with Lia it was always hard to monitor the players’ water intake in an amateur environment, but said it was a good opportunity for coaches to learn more about their players.
‘‘It’s a good test for the players in terms of how they prepare,’’ Campbell said.
‘‘If they are buggered, it falls on them because they haven’t taken care of themselves, so it’s a good chance to see how they prepare themselves and how they adapt to a challenging environment.
‘‘You can definitely get some positives out of it, provided they’re ticking all the boxes themselves.’’
A SBS documentary examining Shepparton's issues, such as high youth unemployment, drug use, school retention rates and poverty, will screen on Tuesday.
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