QPR’S Head of Media & Communications Ian Taylor brings you the inside-story from the Hoops’ pre-season training camp in Portugal
THREE days into our pre-season training camp here in Portugal and the hard work continues for the QPR squad.
After a busy first day that comprised of three sessions, there was no let up in the intensity on Tuesday with the much talked about hill runs on the agenda following an early morning jog.
The media team made their way to the hill in question in advance of the rest of the touring party and the sight was something to behold.
Winding down towards the coast, the hill measured around 700 metres in distance, with the undulating slopes and twisting turns providing a huge test for the players.
It's not often I feel sorry for professional footballers (not envious or jealous at all!), but this was certainly one of those occasions.
Six sets on the short run, another six sets on the second run and then two mammoth runs from the bottom to the top pushed all the players to their very limits.
Driven on by the gaffer and his backroom team, the squad were tested to their maximum, in what I can only describe as the most physically demanding pre-season drill I've ever witnessed.
Remarkably, the whole squad were straight back on the training pitches four hours later, completing their third session of the day - with the first real tactical work of pre-season giving the players something extra to think about following a gruelling morning plundering the hills of the Algarve.
Ring a ring o'roses - R's players take to the pool
Joe Lumley shares a joke with Conor Washington
Jamie Mackie making waves in pre-season
R's boss Holloway talks to his players
Lean on me - Yeni Ngbakoto and Idrissa Sylla
Irish eyes are smiling - Ryan Manning set for his first full season
Hands up who is enjoying pre-season?
Jamie Mackie and Alex Smithies obviously found something funny
Pick me! Ian Holloway surveys his squad
Today followed a similar pattern, with the lads waking up with a morning swim at 8.00am.
Cloudy, overcast conditions for the football session at 10.30am would’ve been a relief to the players following two days of constant sunshine, and the slight dip in temperature was needed, as Ollie, Birch and Flem put the boys through their paces on the pristine training pitches.
An afternoon off was the reward for all their hard work over the previous few days, with some opting for a stroll into town, while others rested up in their rooms.
One member of the coaching team (I won’t name names but he used to play for the R’s in midfield and famously dyed his hair blue and white!) caught up on the latest episodes of Love Island … I told you these trips can drive you stir crazy!
After dinner, Jamie Mackie – aka James Corden (his words not mine!) – again provided some hilarious content for his daily video diary, which you can see on our social media platforms.
I’ll be back later in the week.