the start of pre-season training for the Premier League's
brave football aces.
spent just six weeks messing around on the golf course or getting bored on a
beach with their Page 3 WAGs, it is time for our fittest and finest to put their
perfectly-bronzed noses back to the grindstone.
teams lucky enough not to be involved in the chore of European qualifying or
Community Shield, the season starts on August 15.
can expect a pretty tough workout between now and then - as our sample
pre-season schedule will show you.
The Premier League player's pre-season training schedule
Day 1: Meet
new gaffer and team-mates. Spend day jostling for decent peg in dressing room
away from volatile midfield enforcer.
Day 2: Cross-country
run in surrounding countryside - half-way through, collapse from exhaustion and
call agent for a lift back to the training ground gates.
Day 3: Sprint
through an obstacle course of randomly distributed cones.
Sprint through an obstacle course of randomly distributed tyres.
Day 5: Call
in sick. Getting rhinoceros-sized plasma TV delivered.
Sprint through an obstacle course of randomly distributed mini hurdles.
Day 7: Get
speeding ticket after being snapped driving 83mph in 30mph zone on way home
from training. Hastily establish penalty points-swapping system with fellow
Day 8: Venture
into weights room to build core strength.
Days 9-13: Undergo
physio treatment on strained pectoral muscle following catastrophic attempt to
bench press youth-teamer.
Day 14: Stand
in a tight circle and ping inaccurate first-time passes around until somebody
misses the ball and has to go and fetch it.
Day 15: Headers
and volleys over a tennis net.
Well-earned day off. Get pictured falling out of Essex
Day 17: Stay
indoors nursing head, emerging only to punch paparazzo on doorstep.
Training camp/golf and booze binge in sun-kissed Mediterranean resort.
Fist-fight with ageing Irish winger on flight home.
Appear for reserve XI in arduous away-day at Hampton & Richmond Borough. Lose 3-1.
Tactical training. Sit in darkened room watching videos of last season's woeful performances, smirking at assorted
clangers and texting mates.
Appear at charity function, get drunk with Fiona Phillips and Ainsley Harriott.
Make inappropriate suggestive remark to Duchess of Kent.
Days 27: Half-heartedly
travel to Switzerland
for mini-tournament against Sturm Graz, Young Boys Bern and Skoda Xanthi.
Play 34 minutes in three cameo appearances and return home completely lacking
in fitness and form, but secure in the knowledge there is no chance of
dislodging first-choice left-back from team.
Some of the lads call early on the way to an optional training session. No
chance - a season of kicking back and picking up 30 grand a week awaits.
Accidentally fly into late challenge and rupture first-choice left-back's cruciate knee ligament.
Manager tells transfer kitty is empty and the idiot who crocked his best player
on the training ground will be first-choice for the entire season.
Decide some last-minute fitness work is in order. Go into gym armed with cassette
of Eye of the Tiger and a skipping rope.
Undergo treatment on ankle tweaked three minutes into skipping session.
Reluctantly come through fitness test and get named in team for fixture away to
Day 41: Go
into opening day massively undercooked. Get repeatedly rinsed by that little
sod Walcott. Lose 3-0, get ridiculed by Adrian Chiles and Lee Dixon. Wish the
game had been on Setanta.
- - -
QUOTE OF THE DAY: Petr Cech does nothing (and something) to dampen
City rumours: "Sometime
people want to have a new challenge. They want to go on to different
adventures, you never know. It comes from the personality. It has also been the
case JT has always wanted to stay at Chelsea
- it's in his heart."
FOREIGN VIEW: Brazil striker Nilmar gave an indication just
why Manchester United are keen on acquiring his services with a brace as Internacional went top of the Brazilian
championship with a 2-0 win over Nautico. Meanwhile championships were decided
in both Bolivia (winners: Bolivar) and
(Cerro Porteno) over the weekend.
COMING UP: As usual, we'll have all the latest transfer
gossip with our transfer ticker, plus we've got extensive coverage of the day's
Tour de France stage, which starts in Eric Cantona's home town of Marseille.