Wakefield Wildcats head coach Richard Agar has told the Yorkshire Evening Post the five day training camp in Portugal could not have gone any better.
The squad are now on their way back to West Yorkshire upon completion of the more than useful workout at Browns Sports and Leisure Club in Vilamoura. The regional daily newspaper has spoken to the Wildcats boss who gave a conclusion on the camp just before the last training session.
“It has been really, really good,” said Agar.
“The sun’s out, the temperature has been good and the facilities at Browns are excellent. It’s a long-established training camp and they cater very well for rugby teams of both codes.
“The pitches are excellent, the high-performance gym is superb and everything’s right outside the door.
“The boys have trained extremely well, there’s been a great intensity to the sessions and we’ve been able to train for a bit longer than we would have done at home.
“We’ve been able to be a bit more stop-start than when you are standing around in the cold. The sun has been out and it has been 17 or 18 degrees, so it has been a nice temperature, on a good surface.
“The boys have responded really well. We set out to have a really big week and that’s something we spoke about to the players.
“We wanted it to be the best week of pre-season and that has been the case.”
The Wildcats have had the pleasure of sharing the training base with the Nigerian international football team who were preparing for the African Cup of Nations. Agar was more than pleased to spend time with them.
“It has been terrific to mix with those guys and we’ve had a look at each other in training. They’ve some recognisable people in their squad like (Chelsea’s) John Obi Mikel.
“He has a knowledge of rugby league and he’s been asking how we pass the ball and how we put spin on it, so he was really interested.
“It is a big enough environment to house two teams and it has been really interesting to spend some time alongside them and watch them train.”
In recent years there has appeared to be a shift away from Super League clubs having camps abroad but the chief coach says it is vital.
“I don’t think they’ve had a Super League team at Browns for two or three years,” he said.
“Teams have been moving away from going abroad because pre-season is getting so short, but in the last few years everyone’s struggled because of the weather.
“We saw coming out here as a vital component of our preparation and the amount of work we’ve managed to get done this week has far outweighed what we’d have had at home.”
The squad will have Friday off as chance to prepare for the visit of Featherstone which is a game Agar is looking forward to.
“We’ll have plenty of time to get refreshed and ready for Sunday’s game and we’ll be fielding as strong a team as we can.”
Richard Agar was speaking to the Yorkshire Evening Post which is available every day with coverage from rugby league correspondent Peter Smith.
Tickets are available for Featherstone priced £10 adults if members purchase before Sunday or will be £12 on the day while concessions and juniors will be charged £5 for the first rugby league fixture at the Rapid Solicitors Stadium in 2013.
You can pre-purchase your tickets from any of our retail outlets at the Rapid Solicitors Stadium Box Office, Ridings Centre or Trinity Walk stores or by calling 01924 211611 / 201548.
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