Thursday Apr 26, 2018  
  08/07/2011: Auronzo di Cadore: Day Two
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The holidays are over for the Lazio squad and if they were not aware of this fact upon touchdown in Auronzo yesterday, they certainly are now having been woken up at 8am sharp with breakfast to be served at 8.30. have outlined a strict regime. The players began training at 10am with lunchtime set at 12.30. Not much was to be seen in the early morning session as the squad focuses on their conditioning. Stefan Radu was pinpointed as being in particularly good condition while new signings Miroslav Klose and Lorik Cana were spotted sharing a joke or two on the field.

After lunch, the players were given some rest with the evening session due to begin at 3.45. It has been a warm day in Auronzo and presumably the players were looking to stay indoors, out of the sun for a while so they can catch their breath from an enduring morning session. Tommaso Ceccarelli was to be found on Facebook and posted the most simplistic of statuses in "Auronzo di Cadore", perhaps reminding fans and friends alike of his new-found position within the Lazio ranks. For him and goalkeeper Alessandro Berardi, these two weeks is undoubtedly an incredible opportunity.

With an awkward number of players at his disposal, Reja set up 10-a-side calcio in the evening establishing the following three teams:

The Sky-Blue Team - Bizzarri, Scaloni, Zauri, Dias, Garrido, Ledesma, Mauri, Ceccarelli, Sculli, Floccari.

The Green Team - Marchetti (later replaced by Berardi), Cavanda, Diakite', Stendardo, Lulic, Brocchi, Matuzalem, Foggia, Klose, Makinwa.

The Orange Team - Marchetti, Radu, Biava, Konko, Del Nero, Bresciano, Cana, Hernanes, Rocchi, Zarate.

Each side played two very short games in a round-robin format. Game one ended scoreless between the Green Team and the Sky-Blue team where nothing of any real significance occurred.

The second game was the only affair to conjure up some goals with a superb strike from Rocchi and a neat finish from Hernanes giving the Orange Team a 2-0 victory. The Green Team were played off the field with Hernanes dictating the play and Cana looking lively also. Interestingly, Diakite' had his leg strapped and perhaps of more concern is where the bandage is located; around the shinbone he has fractured previously. Lulic also looked quite uncomfortable in his first chance to shine in front of a very small number of travelling fans.

The final game, contested between the already victorius Orange Team and the Sky-Blue Team, had its moments. Konko and Dias both had sturdy games, coming under pressure from the up-and-running Hernanes. Yet again, Cana was on fire, linking up cleverly with both Hernanes and Zarate on separate occasions as the Orange Team came closest to getting themselves on the scoresheet.

Not much can be read from these early encounters but what does seem clear is that Reja is trying to give Marchetti as much game time as possible. It will also be of encouragement to hear that the established names are already looking in good shape with a very long season ahead of the Romans.

(Cathal Mullan)
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