Newspaper article Evening Gazette (Middlesbrough, England)

Marine Life Was a Long Hard Slog for the Boro Squad

Newspaper article Evening Gazette (Middlesbrough, England)

Marine Life Was a Long Hard Slog for the Boro Squad

Article excerpt

Byline: ERIC PAYLOR

WHO said that Boro's sunshine trip to La Manga was a glorified holiday? These vivid photos tell a completely different story.

It was a seven-day slog. Boro's first team squad were even put through their paces by Royal Marines.

And it was all part of Gordon Strachan's plan to make his squad the fittest in the Championship next season.

Not for Strachan asking his players simply to run up a hill.

They had to do it pushing a wheelbarrow, carrying a huge bucketful of sand or with a car tyre in their hands.

Yet they all came back alive. No wonder Strachan was delighted with the results.

He said: "Everybody in the group was terrific.

"The way the players trained with the Marines took my breath away.

"The Marines who led the three groups of players were so good that they dragged everybody along".

The Marines' party included motivational speaker Mark Ormrod.

This particular Marine has no legs and just one arm, having lost his three limbs when he stepped on a landmine in Afghanistan.

Boro's players sat and listened as Mark revealed his story and how he had fought back against adversity.

It made the pain that the players were feeling pretty inconsequential.

Dixie Dean, owner of the Mystic Adventures company which organised the trip on Boro's behalf, believes the squad was among the strongest they have worked with.

He said: "The players put in some tremendous hard work.

"They started with a two-mile run, log runs and wheelbarrow races up the side of mountains, then down to the beach for two very hard circuits and then into the sea for carrys and drags all along the beach front. This was followed by more running and climbing up to the top of the summit followed by boxing and more running up and down the hills.

"The team performed excellent. …

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