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Glen reveal new approach to mid season break

Last year the Glen players hated the football field.

During the mid-season league break, when the cup tournament was played, they spent their time training to the point where they became sick of it.

The mid-season league break was in its first year last year. It was created to allow club players to get matches, but allowing the league to be suspended until county players returned from duty.

Yet for Glen, the lesson learned was that they spent too much time trainng.

Earlier this year, they made that very clear to new manager Jude Donnelly.

So he responded with a different approach.

“We have not been near a pitch for six weeks,” Donnelly said.

“We have went into a sort of pre season mode. We have went to a running track. We have been to a boxing club. We have played basketball. We are due back on the pitch the following week. That will give us a few weeks before the next league game on July 17.

“The boys have enjoyed it.”

Donnelly said emphasised that their approach to training was very much driven by what the players wanted.

“They felt that if they stayed on the pitch (during the mid season league break) that they would have got sick of it.

“We had a meeting and they decided what we would do. It has worked well.

“It is down to their experience last year. Nothing to do with the management last year, they just felt that they were on the pitch too much last year.”

The issue for the team is how they maintain their fitness for the remaining games in the league. Some managers feel it necessary that training should continue during the break so that their players maintain a certain level of fitness.

Donnelly was aware of this and that was why he adopted an approach that served him well when he trained Lavey’s u-21s to the Ulster Championships in Creggan.

“We brought in a running coach. It is a different level of coaching. He put together a four-week programme. Their fitness level has not lost out. It is a different type of trainng, but they are running up to 14k a week. It has given them a great level of fitness.”

They do their running programme every Wednesday, but the team are told what it will entail on the Monday.

“They like it that way. They know well ahead of time what they are going to have to do.”

And it is not a case of a 13k slog. The training uses incremental runs of different distances and speeds, with the ultimate goal of maintaining their fitness.

Donnelly is optimistic that the training with have his team well prepared for the remainder of the league campaign.

They have ten players with the county, four on the senior team including Emmett, Ryan Dougan, Ciaran McFaul and Jack Doherty, as well as six others on the u-20 squad. Jack Doherty and Ryan Dougan are injured at the moment. It will be at least a month before they are fit again.

Donnelly has used the fringe players on his panel to fulfil the cup fixtures, while lads like Danny Tallon and Conor Carvill are afforded a rest.

Donnelly said that with regards the league things are good.

“We are sitting where we want to be. We wanted to get a good start.

“We have seven out of eight points. It is a good start and that is what we asked for.

“They are safe now, not that they weren’t going to be safe, it just means that there is no pressure. We can return to the league and decide if we want to go and try to win it, or to focus on the championship.”

r.scott@gaeliclife.com

Some of the younger members of the Derry panel impressed on Sunday.

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