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29.07.2007 13:01

Good times in St. Andrews

David Puig

Barça have concluded their six-day stay at St. Andrews in Scotland and returned to Catalunya. The squad enjoyed an intense week of training in order to regain full fitness and they also recorded two wins from the pair of games that they played.

The players and the coaching staff have all stated how happy they were with the mini tour and praised the magnificent facilities at the Old Course Hotel, situated in St. Andrews, the home of British golf. The climate was also perfect for training after the summer heat of Barcelona and the coaches were able to push the players through all the rigorous exercises required at this stage of pre-season.

Physical work

entrenomatiescocia24707_x3x.jpgWhile physical work has been the key element in the double training sessions, the ball was always involved. As well as working on strength and endurance, the range of different circuits and routines have always been made more bearable for the players by including a ball at their feet.

The club's medical team also carried out extensive tests on the squad as each player underwent substantial analysis, such as having lactic acid taken from their ears to measure fatigue levels. They also constantly monitored the heart rates of the players through measuring devices that were present in training.

Injury list

entrenosol_25-07-07.jpgJesús Olmo and Marc Valiente were unable to work at the same level as their team-mates due to injury. Olmo suffered a sprain during training on Tuesday, while Valiente had a hamstring problem.

Eidur Gudjohnsen, Carles Puyol and Edmílson did not travel to Scotland as they continued their recuperation programmes. The Icelandic international stayed in Barcelona with a knee injury, while Puyol and Edmílson both underwent surgery at the end of last season and have yet to be given the green light to return to action.

Two good games

heartsfcb_1_x2x.jpgThe hard work put in during training was evident as Barça won both their friendly games in Scotland against Dundee United and Hearts . In both outings, the Blaugrana came up against sides that were prepared to work hard and offer them a physical battle. The games also gave coach Frank Rijkaard a chance to test a few players, including Bojan Krkic and Giovani Dos Santos, and combinations.

The team will return to work on Monday to begin the second stage of pre-season as they prepare to head to the Far East for games in China, Japan and Hong Kong.
Good times in St. Andrews
Barçamania in Scotland
Barça's stay in Scotland created great excitement among the locals and fans were an ever-present feature and training. The chance to see some of the best players in the world on their doorstep was too good a chance to pass up. The supporters also came out in huge numbers for both the matches as Tannadice and Murrayfield were both packed for the Blaugrana's games against Dundee United and Hearts respectively.

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