Doncaster Rovers: Portugal trip is ‘no holiday’

James Coppinger
James Coppinger

A week in southern Portugal in July may sound like a perfect holiday for most but it is far from that for Doncaster Rovers.

Paul Dickov, his staff and players are currently in Villamoura for a six day pre-season training camp – something which has quickly become an annual tradition.

And while 34 degree temperatures may be appreciated by nearby holidaymakers, the Rovers squad will probably hoping for a few cool days before returning home on Friday.

“We’ve been there the last few years and it’s no holiday, put it that way,” James Coppinger said before departing.

“It’s three sessions a day and it’s tough with the heat as well.

“It’s a good test. It’s stood us in good stead over the last few seasons in terms of fitness.

“Going out there will be good for the lads, joining up with the new faces, get some experience.

“We’ve not got a game out there but we’ll be working hard, I know that.”

After a rather sluggish performance in the first friendly with Frickley Athletic, boss Dickov expects the hard work in Portugal to produce a fresher outfit against Nottingham Forest next Tuesday.

He said: “We’ll be working them really, really hard and by the time the Nottingham Forest friendly comes around, they’ll be flying.

“It’s a great exercise for us. People might think it’s all sun and sunbathing and having a jolly up.

“It’s far from that. It’s three or four sessions a day and it’s a great opportunity for me to get the players away 24-7 for six days.

“It’s a new group with the new lads as well.

“And it’s an opportunity to get some real quality work into them.”

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