EVER wondered what goes into preparing for a pre-season training camp for the kit men at a football club?
Well wonder no more.
We sat down with QPR Kit Man Gary Doyle and his assistant Elliott Hinds on the R’s pre-season trip to Portugal to crunch the numbers and talk about life on the road working for the Hoops.
Doyle, in his 19th season working for the club, has seen it all over the years, but with the increasing demands placed on the players from a training perspective as the landscape of the game and it’s training methods continue to evolve by the season in today’s modern world, the role of a kit man is more demanding than ever.
“It’s certainly changed over the years and the amount of equipment that you have to pack for trips like this is increasing year-on-year,” Doyle told www.qpr.co.uk.
“For this week-long camp we’ve hired two vans to transport over the equipment from London and with a squad of 24 and 12 staff, that’s a lot to pack!”
We’ve listed below, in no particular order, all the kit and equipment that goes on tour and the numbers are quite staggering!
Bibs: 80 (six different colours)
Flat marker disks: 70
Boots: 45 pairs (+12 staff)
Training shorts: 200
Training socks: 200
Training tops: 100
Training vests: 100
Match kits: 80 (40 home and 40 away)
Staff kits: 60
Cases of water: 80
Cases of energy drinks: 30
Pressure gauge: 1
Hand pump: 1
Electric pump: 1
Drinks tubs: 2
Base layer: 60
Cycling shorts: 60
Swim shorts: 60
Staff trainers: 12
So there you have it, a massive amount of kit and equipment, and a lot of washing and cleaning to be done after every session!
But it’s all in a days work for the kit duo, as Doyle explained.
“You get into a routine and it all becomes second nature after a while,” he said.
“From rolling kit in the evening for the following morning’s session to pumping up the balls an hour or so before training, it’s a busy job, but one we both take great satisfaction and pride in.”