December 10 2013 Latest news:
By Greg Miles
Friday, July 20, 2012
Martin Allen settling in as he gets to know players on France trip
Martin Allen’s team bonding activities have become something of myth and legend in the footballing world, so what exactly did his Gillingham squad get up to on their trip to France?
He joked it would be boys on tour stuff before they set off in their mini buses across the Channel to their training camp in Le Touquet.
But although they trained hard three times a day, there were no boot camps to be seen. Instead they knuckled down to some good old fashioned team games of Frustration, and Monopoly in a bid to gel under Allen’s new management.
“I had a great time, it was a fantastic trip,” said the 46-year-old. “We had top class facilities, it was pouring with rain every day. We trained three times a day, 7.30am, 10.30am, and 3.30pm.
“We were working with our fitness coach James Russell, and technique work with Mark Patterson and John Schofield, and working with me in the afternoon on team play.
“It was a great team bonding and team building exercise, everyone was very punctual and very smart - it really was a fantastic six-day trip to get to know everyone.”
As well as his squad there were two other faces training with the team, Mark Hughes and Michael Flynn.
Allen said defender Hughes was with the club to keep fit after being released by Barnet, while Flynn, who played for the Gills between 2005 and 2007, was on trial after being released by Bradford at the end of the season.
“Mark Hughes was with me at Barnet and scored the goal that kept Barnet in the football league, I helped him keep fit,” he said. “Michael Flynn, we had a look and took him away with us, but he’s not going to be joining us.”
He got a first look at his squad in action as they beat Dagenham & Redbridge at the Beechings Cross training ground on Wednesday 3-0, with goals from a trialist, youngster Bradley Dack, and Charlie Lee.
Barry Fuller and Adam Birchall also played their first games since serious injuries. They play at Dartford tomorrow in a 3pm kickoff.