Plenty more in store for the Youth Team on their pre-season tour to ObertraunAfter the disappointment of the Chelsea friendly being abandoned due to rain, Jason Blake insists there is plenty in store in Austria for the club’s youngsters.
The Clarets’ two arranged friendlies for the trip have now both been cancelled, with the second against Munich 1860 cancelled after no suitable location could be found.
But with at least one more game lined-up in the pipeline, and with an action packed schedule, spirits remain high in the camp in Obertraun.
Academy Manager Blake said: “The lads have reacted well with the changes to the Chelsea game. It’s kept the staff on their toes in terms of adapting the programme at the right times in relevance to rest, recovery and some high intensity training.
“Because of the nature of the facility, with the types of activities available, the boys have certainly been kept occupied and after just speaking to the group, they have really enjoyed the first three days.
“They have found it beneficial on the pitch, in terms of their recovery and they have enjoyed it sociably too, so it has been a real positive start.”
He added: “We are speaking to the guys at the venue at the moment in regards to some additional fixtures, so our plan for the remaining 10 days, because it’s ever evolving, is to replace those games we have lost because if we couldn’t, that would take a tiny bit away from the trip.”
Obertraun, nestled in the picturesque Salzkammergut region and surrounded by the jaw-dropping Austrian mountains, naturally offers plenty of activities, on and off the pitch.
Burnley’s first team used the camp twice during Steve Cotterill’s reign as manager in the mid 2000s.
And Blake added: “The venue is amazing. There are numerous grass pitches, five-a-side pitches, and a beach soccer facility for the football side. Then there are tennis courts, table tennis, a climbing wall, a heated swimming pool, basketball courts and much more to do here at the complex.
“It doesn’t just stop there though, there’s also a lake nearby and a river right next to the venue where the lads can soak in there after a session. That’s seven degrees, which is the equivalent of an ice bath, and even all the staff got involved in that too!
The dreaded river!
“We are really fortunate that there’s so much to do in and around the complex, but equally in the picturesque surroundings there’s a lot to do to supplement their football development work too.”
With the Youth Team’s stay in Austria lasting two weeks, the coaches have also included in the schedule an ‘off-site’ day, to offer a break away from the complex.
Blake said: “We are hoping to go on the cable cars up in the mountains and to the vantage point where you can take in all the sights, and alongside that there are some ice caves nearby, which the lads are all keen to visit.
“So we are going to try fit in all of that, just to break up the mentality of the two weeks and give the lads a bit of freedom.
“So far though the trip has been really positive. It’s a great chance to get to know the lads, particularly the first years where a few have surprised us, and there’s some hard work in there as well which is obviously fundamental at this time of year.”
Catch up with the Youths in Austria on Clarets Player HD, including the U18s taking on the ‘bin challenge’. CLICK HERE for details.