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Under 18s in Portugal: Day seven



OUCH, Head Coach Adam Sadler's video nasty and a look at some of the logistics behind planning a tour for a 29-man under-18s squad.

Interrupting a Skills Coach in the middle of keepy-ups can be a dangerous move, as under-18s Head Coach Adam Sadler found out here to his cost while we waited for the minibus home from training.

That's got to hurt...

Today, it's been a case of R and R after the exertions of yesterday in the narrow defeat to Benfica for the players that played, a trip back to the training for those who didn't, as well as some individual work with Grant Downie, Head of Sports Medicine, for those who are carrying knocks.

It’s testament to the trust that the staff have in the players that they allow them to relax around the hotel during free time, safe in the knowledge that the lads are constantly aware that they are ambassadors for Manchester City.


As well as providing vital bonding time and fitness work, pre-season training camps are also another way that the Academy seek to prep young players for careers in the game and in terms of resources and planning, this camp mirrors that of a first-team squad.

It’s quite the operation just to go down the road five minutes to the pitches for training, with all the various medical equipment, kit, mannequins, balls, water… and so on, that are required for each session.

It’s been a feature of these trips that the players assist in taxiing this equipment to and from the minibus for the sessions. A nice little touch that is no doubt designed to keep player’s feet on the ground and to remember their privileged position as Manchester City players.

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Every little detail of the player’s days have been meticulously and strategically mapped out by the staff. It’s a constant balancing act for staff as rest between games for footballers of any age is an important commodity yet in a training camp scenario; boredom can easily become a virus that eats its way through a squad.

Head of Sport Science and Strength and Conditioning Matt Cook’s input in this area is vital.

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Coming from a background of Athletics, Rugby League and Water Polo, Matt has the requisite experience and expertise to make sure that the players at their optimum fitness levels when the match days arrive, as well as sufficiently entertained.

The final match of City u18’s camp in Portugal arrives tomorrow night at 19:00 when they take on Sporting Lisbon. We’ll bring you a report on the site as well as a diary piece to let you know how plans are progressing.


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