Reading Sports Scientist says the team are preparing well for the coming campaign...Royals Sports Scientist Ed Franklin reflected on a successful pre-season trip to the Netherlands as the team start to gear-up for the 2016/17 campaign.
Franklin was pleased with the workrate from the team in training and feels the week was a great way to get preparations for the new season started.
“The climate was very much like England in the Netherlands with a lot of variation between sun and rain so it was a great experience in terms of preparation,” said Franklin. “The hotel and food was really good and the experience has helped bring us all closer together with a lot of new faces having come in and a lot of the U21 progressing up into the squad as well.
“We’ve been doing everything we can to prepare the team for the season. It was a good opportunity to go to the Netherlands and utilise the facilities there, the pitches the ice baths and really to do some progressive position specific fitness work.”
The trip gave Franklin and the rest of the staff a good opportunity to work with the team on a more personal basis as Jaap Stam and his coaches look to prepare the squad in the best way possible ahead of what will be a very busy season.
“Having that time for the lads to integrate, not just as a squad but with the training staff as well gives the manager the time to do the little one-to-one’s with players which is very important," said Franklin
“It’s been great to be able to work with the players on their individual positions to make sure they know exactly what they need to do on the opening game of the season against Preston North End.
“We do a lot of work with the players on a day-to-day basis making sure they are in the best condition they possibly can be for when they train and ensure they live their life in the best way as a professional athlete which is critical these days with the output they have to produce on a Saturday.”
The Sports Scientist has enjoyed working under Stam’s management so far and says the Dutchman is keen to use all the information available as he looks to improve the team.
“The new manager and his assistants are very progressive in the way they like to work, they give me the license to work with the players on an individual basis from a fitness, nutritional and psychological perspective,” commented Franklin.
“Nowadays in the game it is all about statistics. We’ve got to make sure that all the individuals are in the best condition they possibly can be.
“We’ve got the GPS data that the guys wear, when you see them wearing the black vests, so we can download that and report back to the manager to assist him with the training sessions he puts on, on a daily basis.”
“We also have individual meetings with the players, for example Garath McCleary is very interested in his data, so we are focusing on his high speed runs which are a key element to his game, and making sure they are at the right stage now as we head into the new season.”