Stoke City's pre-season gets off on the right foot at St George's Park
Thu 10th Jul 2014 | Football Stadiums & Facilities
Mark Hughes and his Stoke City squad kicked off their pre-season campaign today at St George's Park with a day of physical checks and testing in the national football centre’s high performance lab.
The Premier League squad, which included new signings Steve Sidwell and Mama Biram Diouf, were put through their paces by St. George’s Park’s Perform sports scientists who worked alongside City's own staff to gather vital data that will set their benchmarks for the rest of the season.
“We are doing checks today and functional work to get baselines on the guys to see where they are at,” explained Hughes.
“We did checks at the end of the season so we know where the guys should be and so we are looking to see what condition they are in at this moment.”
Hughes explained that national football centre’s array of high performance technology combined with the highly-skilled personnel working on site meant that it was perfect setting with which to start their pre-season campaign
“It’s a great facility here. Everything we need is on site and there’s the expertise here that we needed, so it lends itself to a professional operation [very well].
“We could do a lot of the work back at our training ground but there are some elements of it that we would have had to bring in, and so we just find that everything we need is already here.
“So the environment you bring the players into makes them understand it is a serious day in our working calendar. I think it sets the right tone.”
With Romanian Champions Steaua Bucharest and Championship side Norwich City having already used the £105 million facility to kick-start their pre-season preparation, as well as the news of FC Barcelona's imminent arrival, Hughes believes the reputation of the centre in footballing circles is growing.
"I have obviously read about the teams that are likely to come here in the future so you can see the word is getting out.
"Obviously the football grapevine is very strong and when there is a facility that people can use where everything is on site [the reputation grows].
Posted by: Kev Howland
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