Trapattoni tests his team in the Algarve
By: DAISY SAMPSON
IRELAND’S NATIONAL football team left the Algarve yesterday (Thursday May 22) after spending a week training in the region under their new manager Giovanni Trapattoni.
This was an important week for both the players and the management as it was an opportunity for players to become acquainted with Trapattoni and his training methods before their international commitments next week.
The team played
two matches against local teams while staying at the Oceânico group hotel, Estrela da Luz, and training at Lagos municipal stadium.
Most of the well known players had come over to the Algarve for the camp, including captain Damien Duff. However, John O´Shea, Richard Dunne and Robbie Keane were not present and are due to link up with the rest of the squad when they return to Dublin.
Ireland drew their first friendly match against Portimão-based team Portimonense. Substitute Andy Keogh’s scored an equaliser in the 49th minute after Portimonense had taken the lead with a goal from
The Irish faired better on Monday night when they beat local team Lagos 3-1 with goals from Glenn Whelan, Darren Potter and another goal from Andy Keogh.
Giovanni Trapattoni, known as “Trap” in the Irish media, praised all the players who took part in the matches and told The Resident: “The result of the games is always important but the attitude of the players is more important.”
After scoring in both matches, Andy Keogh received special praise from the new manager. “Andy thinks before he does something, he plays simply but he is not an easy opponent. When the ball comes to him he always understands what to do with it.”
At the training session on Tuesday morning the players were all in good spirits, laughing and joking in the rain that was more typical of Dublin than the Algarve.
Giovanni Trapattoni watched quietly for the first half of the session and then became more vocal in the second part as he encouraged players to “move quickly” and increase the speed of their game play.
He also joined in with the warm down part of the session and performed a number of sit ups, showing his physical fitness at the age of 69.
The style of play is something that Trapattoni wants to address. “At the moment the players play from habit but today you can see there are changes being made and the players are playing much quicker,” he said.
The former Benfica manager told The Resident: “I am happy to be back in Portugal again. I loved my time in Lisbon, it was a good place to stay.”
He commented on the current form of the Portuguese national football team and said: “The Portuguese team is a very strong team and have a good chance in the Euro 2008 competition”.
During the training camp only a couple of minor injuries were sustained, by Murphy and Holland, but they will be fully fit and available to play in the forthcoming friendly internationals against Serbia and Columbia.
The training camp has been a great success said Trapattoni: “I think the players have shown an understanding and a willingness to learn.”
Following the training week, Trapattoni intends to reveal his plans for the Irish national team in the future.
He told The Resident: “Wait a few days for the big plan of the programme for the team.”
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