Defender explains the benefits of City's Austrian base
City defender Ben Turner has emphasised the importance of pre-season with kick-off for the new 2014-15 Sky Bet Championship campaign now less than three weeks away.
Taking a brief timeout from the Bluebirds’ training camp in Austria, a time where City’s established stars can make important bonds with some new faces around the squad, the 25-year-old has been impressed with the set-up provided at the Walchsee camp.
“It’s a really nice place that we’ve been brought to,” Turner told Cardiff City Player. “It’s convenient that we’ve got a top training pitch at the base. It’s ideal really.
“There’s a few new faces at the start of the season and this presents the opportunity to get to know them and bond with them. I think the manager wants everyone to do that, including the staff with there being a few new faces behind the scenes as well.
“It’s good to come away because you spend more time with them than just going into training for the day. We eat together, socialise together after training and it allows us to build a few bridges with people.”
Summer tours provide the chance to kick early preparations into high gear, with an intense 35c heat in Austria providing quite the test for two City elevens who got their first full 90 minutes under their belts in Saturday victories over 1860 Munich and Teuta Durres.
Six goals and two victories in an afternoon in Kirchbichl brings its own positives, but it proved all the more encouraging as both elevens passed the fitness test provided by the conditions with flying colours.
“It’s extremely hot out here, so it’s purely about getting those minutes in your legs and getting fitness up,” said Ben. “It’s especially important the way the game is now that you keep yourself fit throughout the off-season.
“The pace of the game is faster than ever. For a big lad like myself you need to keep yourself going to avoid giving yourself a mountain to climb to get back to the fitness you were the season before. It’s important that when you’re away you tick yourself along, do a few tough bits of work yourself so when you come back you’re ready to hit the ground running.’
Getting set for his fourth season with the club since joining from Coventry City in August 2011, the defender also reserved praise for the City fans who have made the jaunt to central Europe to support the boys.
“It’s incredible really,” expressed Ben. “That is Cardiff though, we’re a fantastically supported club, that’s how it’s been since I’ve been here and I’m sure will be the same long after I’m gone. It’s a massive commitment for the people who have travelled out here and it’s obviously immensely appreciated by all the lads in the squad.”
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