Powell on the benefits of Spain trip

Hope Powell reflected on what has been a worthwhile pre-season trip to Spain, with the new FA Women’s Super League season kicking off in just over three weeks’ time.

By James Hilsum • 15 August 2019

By Kieran Cleeves
Hope Powell

Powell’s squad have been put through their paces in the Spanish sunshine, and the Albion manager explained the benefits of being based overseas for a week, as well as the desired outcomes from the trip.

She said, “We’re in a really good location and everything is very well contained, as the pitches are all in walking distance. It buys us more time and allows us to get the work done quickly.

“You gain some time during the day that way, and it’s easier for some players to be on the pitch and some can be in the gym. It’s a really good environment.

“The purpose of the trip is to increase the tempo in terms of the demands and fitness of training, and upping their physical capacity. We need to assess whether or not they can cope in these conditions.

“Training in this hot weather will make it easier when we approach the league. We also want to work on some technical elements here, make sure we can do the basics well and start to look at how we’re going to play given the new rule in terms of playing out from the back.”

By Kieran Cleeves
Hope Powell

Albion arrived in Spain towards the end of pre-season this year, as opposed to flying out to Portugal for a similar trip in July last year, and Powell spoke about the reasons behind holding a camp later in the summer.

“Last year was a bit of a lesson for me. If you go too early, you haven’t got in all the players that you want to sign. By coming here later in pre-season, you hope that you’ve got most of those new players in, which has really worked this time.

“It means you’ve got more players to work with and you can work more on the strategy of how you want to play. The timing has been ideal.”

By Kieran Cleeves
Hope Powell

Development squad players Ellie Hack, Maya Le Tissier and Laura Hartley have all travelled to Spain for the trip, and the Albion manager highlighted the importance of assessing all three along with the rest of the squad in Thursday's behind-closed-doors friendly against Valencia.

“We’re trying to look at players that have a chance of progressing to the first team. It doesn’t mean they’re guaranteed anything, but Maya, Laura and Ellie have all progressed very well.

“Maya and Ellie have been regulars for England at their age group, but fundamentally, it’s about bringing them up to speed at a different level and see how they respond to that.

“For the Valencia game, I really want the players to go on the pitch and make their own decisions about the game and the challenges that are presented to them.

"The first priority will be to give minutes to the first-team players, and then the development squad ones. The majority of players will get some time on the pitch.”

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