first team / Camp Tignes

Day 3: Balls in the rain

Published on the 12 July 2006 à 18:30 by R.B

When the weather turns bad... you just have to deal with it. Les Lyonnais worked out with the ball in the afternoon… in the pouring rain.

At 15:45, the first drops of rain fell during the camp. The sun hid behind the clouds and the temperature plummeted. The spray jackets would be coming out today for the 17:00 session. The rain set in, with thunder and lightning. In the safety of the hotel lobby, Patrice Bergues can see the funny side: "We wanted some rain to water the pitch a little… but perhaps not this much.” Rémi Garde goes over the morning training session: "The guys really worked hard, nobody cheated. Today in football, it’s all about the physical. You can’t turn the players into marathon runners, but for most positions, you need to keep repeating the efforts from the start of a match to the end. So often matches are won at the end and this is a great way to prepare every type of player."

The players slowly arrive in the foyer with coffee a big favourite as they awaken from their siestas. At 17:00, the bus leaves for the stadium. 15 minutes later and everyone is on the pitch. Robert Duverne takes the warm-up. No chance of missing one session. The ‘keepers work with Jo Bats. Once all the muscles are warm, Gérard Houllier brings his group together. A practice match with the rain still driving down, but it can’t stop the odd fans looking for photos and autographs…

No ball work on Thursday. The plan? Mountain biking up Mount Iseran in the morning and then rafting in the afternoon…