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Postcard From Poznan

The inside story of day one of the U23s' training camp in Poland

8 July 2019

The Under-23s have gone abroad for part of their pre-season preparation for the first time and our daily postcard will bring the story back home.

Deer Me!

Technically, it’s day one of the U23s’ training trip to Poland thanks to a post-midnight arrival at their training camp in Opalenica near Poznan on Monday morning.

All goes smoothly, despite the attempts of several deer popping out of the woods in this rural area of western Poland to test the nerves – and the brakes – of the coach driver.

Familiar faces

The Hotel Remes ‘Sport and Spa’ complex is evidently a popular pre-season base.

The impressive facilities and excellent playing surfaces across a host of pitches leave plenty of room to work.


And the Clarets are not alone.

Dutch top-flight side Vitesse Arnhem are out here, along with Polish clubs Korona Kielce and local side Lech Poznan.

And Vitesse had some instantly recognisable faces on their staff with goalkeeping coach and ex-Manchester United shot stopper Raimond van der Gouw a Premier League contemporary of Steve Stone and manager Leonid Slutsky in charge of Hull City at the start of the 2017/18 season.

Ronaldo was here

The complex’s reputation as an elite football centre was further cemented during the 2012 European Championships co-hosted by Poland.

Semi-finalists Portugal were based at the Hotel Remes and so no tour of the facilities would be complete without being shown where the five-time Ballon D’Or winner underwent a massage and laid his head.

Cloud cover

The weather in Opalenica was cooler on Monday than it was in Burnley.

Training ground.jpg

No doubt that came as a relief to the players, though, as they were put through their paces.

There was even a drop of rain in the afternoon, but it’s due to warm up as the week goes on with temperatures in the mid-20s on the way.

Good news travels fast

Television in the lunch room shows news of the Clarets’ transfer activity – which goes down well.

And with the media department also splitting resources between here and the first-team camp in Portugal, it’s a cross-Europe effort to launch the welcome arrival of Erik Pieters.

All work and no play………

It’s been a full day for the players as the staff looks to maximise all the time available to them.

After a loosener with Academy head of sport science Alex Ouzounoglou it was a run before lunch with ex-England man Steve Stone belying his 47 years of age to keep a close eye on his charges by running with the pack.

Team meeting.jpg

Post-lunch the balls were out for the first time on pitch three as Stone put on his coaching head to put his now-look squad through some drills.

The lads then hit the gym before their evening meal which preceded a quick presentation from the boss.

Stone makes no secret of what he expects from his players and puts up a list of those who have progressed through the ranks to feature in an around the first team set-up. Inspiring stuff for those ready to get on board.

There are also a few technical pointers from the day’s work and then it’s an ice-bath to sign off and recover.

It’s not all pain, though. Stone has promised his players some down-time and permission to watch Love Island – Ouch. That really hurts.

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