Jaume Bartrés comments: "we've given the players physical and medical tests" and points out "the more weeks we get in training, the better"
A new, unfamiliar and unprecedented situation. And the same objective: to move forward step by step, day by day, evaluating the data gathered along the way. This is the plan that Espanyol has set itself, and one that has been somewhat confirmed today by Jaume Bartrés, the physical trainer of the first team. The players have found that "they have to train individually, in different facilities, with specific time slots... They're adjusting. It's the first week and we'll see how things develop further on".
He insists that "we have to wait and see how they adapt to football" and applauds the players for having "done their part" in these two months of lockdown. "The difficulty is in programming. We don't know when the competition is going to start. There's no precedent for it. We've been on hiatus for two months and the players have been doing some non-specific activities. Riding a bike isn't the same. We had to adapt everything to the individual characteristics of each player, to the space they had and to their needs," he says, while recalling that "it was a strenuous task and you had to adapt as you went along".
According to Jaume, in these first few days "we need to test the players both medically and physically to see where they've fallen out of form. And then we'll have to schedule the training time".
As he explains, a normal preseason "is six weeks, you play (friendly) games and you control the amount of time played. Now we'll have to face a 90-minute game and then two games a week", which leads him to think that it would take "about six weeks" before we could compete.
He also acknowledges that there's a strong emphasis on "preventive training. We've said it before and we'll say it again: there may be a very high risk of injury, but we will adapt to ensure that the players get to the best possible condition in order to take on the challenge of those 11 games.