Valour FC head coach Rob Gale is as friendly a bloke as any on and off the field … but he wasn’t making any friends in training today.
For, as pre-season in the Dominican Republic fast approached, the charismatic touchline tactician decided today was the day to put his players through their paces with one of the most exhaustive physical examinations around.
That’s right: The dreaded beep test.
It is the foil of many a high school gym student, and an absolutely gruelling ordeal to overcome, but Gale said it’s an important measure of team progress.
“We’re a month into pre-season, so we did it on the first day, the yo-yo intermittent test,” Gale started. “It’s just making sure we’re measuring up to see if we’ve made improvements over the first four weeks and, with a couple of other tests (of) agility and speed, we can really hone in on the training and individualize the programs a little bit more going into what is basically a month to go (to kickoff) today.”
After the beeping had settled, one many rose above the pack – Valour’s young defender Diego Gutierrez, who dominated the test and left his head coach thoroughly impressed.
“There’s no fat on Diego whatsoever – he is the road-runner,” Gale said. “He can go all day long. He was doing the ‘meep-meep’ himself there, I think.”