We travelled to Australia on Saturday 9 September with a group of 24 players and 9 staff members. This training camp is an important part of our preparation for the upcoming season. Wellington Phoenix is the only professional football club in New-Zealand so we took this opportunity to play 3 friendly games against different Australian teams.
9 days, 3 cities, 3 opponents!
The first 3 days, we stayed in Coogee (New South Wales, Sydney) for a game against Blacktown City FC. We then travelled to Terrigal for the fixture against Central Coast Mariners and ended our training camp in Cessnock for a game against Newcastle Jets.
As I already mentioned in my previous blog post, working in New-Zealand means that you have to deal with different external factors. That's quite similar to the 2,5 years I worked in Russia. We play in the Australian A-league which means we’ll have to travel for each away game, deal with different temperatures, humidity and time zones all over Australia. During this training camp, we already faced some external factors such as the difference in temperature. It’s currently spring in Wellington and the temperature is approximately12 degrees. In and around Sydney, it’s already 25 degrees. One of the good things about the temperature is that we were able to do our recovery sessions in the outdoor pool, the sea and on the beach.
Besides 3 friendly games, a lot of training sessions and team meetings, we enjoyed a relaxing walk on the Coogee Beach Promenade, visited the Fox Studios in Sydney and met some Wallabies in Cessnock. I also had the chance to meet Ken Stead (former Brisbane Roar director of football and World Football Academy Expert) to talk about his football knowledge and experience in Australia and I was able to catch up with former colleague Balder Berckmans (Strength and Conditioning Coach, Central Coast Mariners).
The players can now enjoy 2 well-deserved days off!
On the picture with Australian wallabies
Team walk on the Coogee Beach Promenade