QPR’S Head of Media & Communications Ian Taylor brings you the story from inside the Hoops’ pre-season training camp in Portugal …
THIS is my thirteenth pre-season in the QPR media team and I’ve got to be honest, this facility takes some beating.
The Cascade Wellness and Lifestyle Resort in Lagos is the perfect setting for the R’s first full week of pre-season training, set against a stunning backdrop in the Algarve.
Pitches - tick!
Gym - tick!
Catering - tick!
Weather - ticks!
It really does tick all the boxes, although the same can’t be said of the three-hour delay we encountered at Gatwick on Sunday afternoon, which resulted in a later-than-scheduled landing in Faro - and a midnight social session for the media team, as we captured the squads’ arrival at the team hotel.
Despite the delay, the schedule for day one remained the same, with an 8.00am run the first port of call for the 24-man squad.
Breakfast followed soon after (fruit, fry up, cereal - you name it, they’ve got it!), before a two-hour session in the Portuguese sunshine.
Ollie started the session by addressing the group for 10 minutes or so, setting out his plans for the week and making it known that this week-long camp is all about getting both the body right and the team-spirit on point before the games get underway in a couple of weeks’ time.
Manager Ian Holloway gets his message across at the start of day one
There was plenty of running in the Algarve sunshine on the first day
Conor Washington and Jordan Cousins hit the ground running
Thirsty work as Joel Lynch takes on fluids during a break
Grant Hall sports the Romania '98 look following his return this summer
It might be the first day but the ball made an early appearance
Darnell Furlong conserves some energy by hitching a ride on Jack Robinson
Is that a small or a grimace, Yeni Ngbakoto?
Keep on running lads! RGC, Bidwell and Smithies amongst others
Jamie Mackie smiling like only he can on day one of pre-season
As seems to be the case in today’s modern world of pre-season training, the balls were out almost straight away, with plenty of intense running being done in between some keep-ball drills.
It was during one of those aforementioned drills that both the camera and the guy operating it (me, by the way!) took a blow to the face thanks to Joel Lynch’s interception, which you can see HERE on our twitter feed!
Lunch followed that two-hour session, and whilst most of the squad took the opportunity to grab some well-deserved rest thereafter, the coaches were busy planning for session number three of the day at 4.00pm.
The group was split into two for that final session of the day, with half going to the gym for the first 45 minutes, whilst the other half took part in some passing drills.
The players switched over half way through, with the 90 minute session concluding just as the temperatures finally began to dip below 25 degrees for the first time today.
If you don’t believe me when I say Ollie’s worked them hard on day one, take a look at Jamie Mackie’s first tour diary entry, which is across our social media platforms now!
Tomorrow promises to be another busy day, with talk of Ollie’s dreaded hill runs believed to be on the agenda.
Until then …