Pre-Season update from Michael Valkanis

Assistant Coach Michael Valkanis gives his latest installment into the Reds' pre-season progress.

Assistant Coach Michael Valkanis gives his latest installment into the Reds' pre-season progress.

"Last month I gave you an overview on what our pre-season would look like, with a focus on phase one of our three phase pre-season program. As phase one comes to a close, I will provide you with an update on how things went.

Our main objective was to work on our aerobic fitness and doing that through playing football. We also worked on our anaerobic and our power endurance, all done with the ball by playing possession games and small sided games. We worked for 5 weeks and the players worked from Monday to Saturday.

Pre-season has been different to what the players have been used to in the past. There's a culture change in Australia where the pre-season no longer incorporates isolated running or other forms of cross training to get fit. The focus is purely playing football, and getting specifically conditioned to play football. As a footballer, when you work with the ball at training, you don-t realise how hard you work and I think that-s a bonus.

The players have enjoyed this method of pre-season training, as it has allowed them to work on the following 3 things at the same time:

• Football Conditioning • Technique • Decision making

We tested the players in week 1 to see where they were when we started and we-ve tested them now in week 5 in order to get the data of where they are now. The data has showed us that all players have improved in their conditioning after the first phase of pre-season. The work has been good and we-re very happy with their testing results.

The focus of all the training sessions in phase two will continue to work on our football conditioning, while implementing and working on the style of play that we will be taking into the Hyundai A-League season. Phase two will be an 8 week block. Every exercise that we-ll be doing in this phase will be specific to the club philosophy we will be implementing and the way we want our team to be playing in the future.

The players will have a short three day break before Josep Gombau arrives to take his first training session on Monday."