Saturday, November 13, 2010

Greg Downes completes a satisfying week of training at Hartlepool

Photo: Greg Downes will train with Darlington next week before returning to Hartlepool [PlessPix]

Tasmanian youngster Greg Downes has completed his first week of training at English Division One club Hartlepool and is pleased with his progress.

Downes will spend next week with Darlington before returning for further training with Hartlepool the week after.

The Hartlepool youth side trained on the artificial pitch on Tuesday and were joined by a couple of the club’s under-16 team players.

Training consisted of various types of passing drills using the inside and outside of the foot.

These drills were made more competitive by players being put in groups that competed against each other.

The next activity was a possession game involving three teams. Two teams played again the third team and the focus was on the work rate of the teams without the ball. The exercise went for three minutes and was repeated twice.

This was followed by an 11 v 11 game on a full-size pitch with certain rules. Midfielders, for example, were not allowed to pass backwards in the middle-third of the field.

The afternoon session was held indoors in the gym because it was teeming with rain outside.

The players had to go through four work stations. Each station was covered twice and each station’s activity went for four minutes.

The stations were: (a) head tennis; (b) dribbling through cones; (c) ziz-zag dribbling, with change of pace and direction after each cone; (d) 2 v 2 in a restricted area.

After an hour at these stations, the session finished with a head-tennis competition.

The following day, there was only a morning session and the players had the afternoon off.

The warm-up consisted of a couple of laps and stretches and then continued with running activities.

“We ran the length of the field and back for 2 minutes, and then had a minute’s rest,” Downes said. “We did that running five times each.

“We then went into a couple of passing drills, the first being very similar to the previous day’s drill, but this time it was in a triangle.

“We then joined up with another triangle and did a passing drill which incorporated strikers who would receive the ball, lay it off for the other striker and play it through for the over-lapping runner.

“We then played half-field possession with goals in each corner. To score a goal, we had to pass the ball into the corner square to the target man, who would then play to another player on the same team.

“The rules were then adjusted and, instead of playing the ball out from the target zone, you would have to dribble out and the other player who passed the ball would replace you within 3 seconds for it to be a goal.

“To finish, we then did six sets of running.

“The first was ‘doggies’ up the whole field where we went to the 18-yard line and back, then to the half-way line and back to the start, and then to the 18-yard line at the other end and back, and then the full length of the field and back to the start.

“The next was slightly smaller ‘doggies’, and finishing with the full field and back to the start.

“The next was to halfway and back, twice through. Then we went full field and back and the last one for my team, because we won, was to the 18-yard line and back 3 times.

“My team was the youth team, together with 4 or 5 first-team players who didn't make the unsuccessful trip to Sheffield Wednesday.”

Downes said the youth side had a cup game next Tuesday so they wouldn’t be training on Tuesday, Wednesday or Thursday and the club had arranged for him to spend a week training with Darlington before returning the following week.

He hopes to play in a competitive match soon and is taking steps to obtain an international clearance.


Anonymous said...

it is good that Greg had such a successful time in England, Thankyou walter for keeping us up to date with the processd

Anonymous said...

Those drills sound incredibly boring and typically English. I wonder who thinks them up and decides they may be useful in a game situation? Does it really improve technique. Not having a go at Downsey at all because he is a top player and should have really figured in the starting 11 at South. I hope he succeeds as he was probably the most modest and likeable bloke at South.

Anonymous said...

Fantastic to hear what they are doing in training, Walter.

Well done Greg Downes!


Anonymous said...

Anonymous 3.50

Apart from the running drills what would you proffer instead?

Are you from Generation Y ?


Anonymous said...

Maybe you should put up what people say, rather than screen it to protect a player.

Walter said...

Anonymous 3.17pm, (I don't know who you are) when they put their name to their comment, I'll put it up.

Anonymous said...

Yeah I'm with 3:17 - seems you select what you want to put up Walter depending on the player......We can't say anything bad about the Downes family can we. Yes anonymouse I will remain...Funny how you let eveyone slag off poor Scotty last week.

Walter said...

Anonymous, it depends what you say and how you say it. You imply that I am somehow biased against Liam. Not true. This past season I had a whole page and colour photo of Liam in the Melbourne paper "Goal Weekly". I rate Liam highly.

Remember, it's what you say and how you say it that determines whether or not it appears on this blog. I even had to edit your latest comment, and you know why.

Anonymous said...

walter you allow some atrocious comments about some people on here and not others

Anonymous said...

lay off walter he could just not have a blog and everyone in tasmania will be screwed if that was the case, walter can put up whatever he likes its his blog his rules

Anonymous said...

My last anonymous comment (Nov 14 3.50am) concerning the drills and training exercises - I must detract somewhat. Given its preseason, there were some decent training methods and of course the running needs to be done at some stage during the session. I personally don't like drills involving running into triangles and replacing other players - things like that seem pointless. There should be short, medium, long passing drills - some at height, some on the ground etc...Of course this is all nitpicking and again wish Downsey all the best over there.

Anonymous said...

Shakes head** when will coaches learn training without the ball is not the most effective way to utilise training time. 1 minute of running without the ball is too much.

Goodluck Greg, I hope the flawed English system doesn't ruin you.

Anonymous said...

walter i thought the only person was andrew brown that you protect from any negative comments that may strain your relationship even
more with him.