Tuesday, 5 March 2013

Olympians Gearing Up for the New Season


By Ben Saunders. Photos courtesy of Vici Holdsworth.

LONDON Olympians head coach Riq Ayub is hopeful that the club's training camp in Sussex next month will help ensure they are well prepared for the upcoming BAFA National League Premiership season.


“We know that from my experience doing international stuff, being around football, that if we can get our players together for two to three days in a residential situation away from London it helps with the bonding, the camaderie,” Ayub said. “If you look at players after three practices, they're very different from having one practice, having a break, and doing another practice a week later. It's a big thing for us and it will become part of what we do.”

The Beckenham-based side will have a three-day camp from April 5-7 at Ardingly College in East Sussex before they travel to West London on April 28th, when they begin their season with a showdown against their cross-town rivals, the London Warriors.

Ayub is convinced the camp, along with their new base at Goals Beckenham North, on Copers Cope Road, will help the 13-times British champions and twice European champions in their quest to reclaim former glories.

“It's a conscious effort to do football the way we think it should be done,” Ayub said. “We should work hard, we should recruit hard, the players should understand that this sport is not like Sunday afternoon soccer.

“It's an effort that they've got to put in here [at the training ground] and away from here and the ethos has to change.

“When I came back to this club, I looked at what was going on and I thought to myself we need to change the ethos and that's what we are going to do.

“We're trying to get the players to understand how important it is to the players, to the club, to everyone around them that they've got put an effort. We can't coach effort; effort is something they've got to bring.”


 Regarding the move to Beckenham, Ayub said: “Crystal Palace has been great for us; Catford has been great, Southwark Park in the past has been great for us. We needed to freshen up.
“This facility here brings us the potential to have game-day experiences, to practise three times a week, which we haven't done for many years.

“There are just a lot of positives that come with this place. We've been going on about this as particular to our football programme; we don't want anything given to us on a plate. We want to work hard.

“If there are individuals out there that want to put in the effort and get something out of being part of a team sport then we will welcome them. In return, what we want from them is effort and hard work.”

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