Gallery: Army puts Blues through their paces

PERHAPS not surprisingly for a manager accused of adopting a sergeant-major approach to training, Roy Keane's Ipswich Town went through a two-day army training session this week.

Derek Davis

PERHAPS not surprisingly for a manager accused of adopting a sergeant-major approach to training, Roy Keane's Ipswich Town went through a two-day army training session this week.

The Blues were put through some team-building, endurance and stamina work by staff from the 7th Parachute Regiment, Royal Horse Artillery, at Colchester Garrison, where Town chief executive Simon Clegg was previously a major.

Keane and his coaching staff joined in and after completing the assault course they all took part in physical and mental exercises.


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The players fired live ammunition on the ranges, used a battle simulator and raced with heavily-laden stretchers, something of a contrast from their training camp in Portugal.

The Blues boss said: “We wanted to take the players out of the comfort zone and that was certainly achieved.

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“You are pushing them mentally and physically, and it showed the importance of teamwork, discipline and leadership.

“It was hard work and the players are tired but I think they enjoyed it and their attitude was spot on all the way through.”

It was not just about the physical aspect but a bonding exercise that can benefit the squad when the tough times come along during what can be an arduous season.

Keane added: “We have a long hard season in front of us and there will be setbacks along the way but what we learned about the group in the two days will stand us in good stead for that.”

Many of the Paras taking the squad training have seen action in Iraq and Afghanistan and earned the Irishman's respect.

He said: “The staff were great and really pushed us. It gave us an insight into their life. It was also a reminder of how lucky we are to get well paid for doing a job we love.”

Town return to the training ground today for a light session before taking on Real Valladolid tonight.

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