Sunday Oct 22, 2017  
     
 
  15/07/2013: Auronzo di Cadore: Day 4
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9.45am and assistant manager Antonio Manicone puts the boys through their paces with some ball retention exercises. As an incentive, he creates a rule with a forfeit attached - ball touches ground, player does sit-ups and push-ups. It is merely a fun warm-up exercise before further athletic exercises. Shortly afterwards, Manicone initiates an old fashioned game of piggy in the middle, where the piggy simply has to make an interception to get out of the middle. Danilo Cataldi found it tough going and got teased for his struggles.

The players did some lunges and extensions before working with the ball again and by the end of the morning, Petkovic had put in place the first tactical exercises of pre-season training. He assembled a group of nine players and two groups of seven and asked the nine players to retain possession against a group of seven, who were tasked with intercepting the ball. Once the ball was intercepted, the exercise was repeated. Novaretti took a blow to the head courtesy of his comrade Michael Ciani and there was initial concern, but he got to his feet eventually and carried on. On the sidelines was Bruno Pereirinha, who has picked up a thigh injury and will return to Rome to recover.

In the afternoon, the team made their now customary ascent up Mount Agudo. It is a friendly race over 6km and once the hill-climb is completed, the players are rewarded with a buffet. Last year, the race was won by Mauro Zarate and this year, it was Senad Lulic and Abdoulay Konko who reached the summit first with Miroslav Klose and Giuseppe Biava close behind.

Author: Cathal Mullan
 
 
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