Peter Gilham Blog: Brentford in Germany, day one – News
After a first pre-season victory against Boreham Wood this weekend, we continued our preparation for the 22/23 Premier League season with a trip to Germany. As always, Peter Gilham has volunteered to provide us all with a behind-the-scenes look at everything happening over the next seven days.
Almost three years to the day since the squad’s first team last traveled to mainland Europe for a camp, we’re back. This time we’ve traded the breathtaking beauty of Austrian Tyrol for the majesty of Germany’s Black Forest.
We are based in Donaueschingen, a town less than an hour’s drive from Switzerland and France. The area is best known for its forested mountain ranges, and probably less of a concern to us, the cuckoo clocks and cakes (although I personally wouldn’t rule out the latter).
Our trip here started very early on Tuesday morning as we made the journey to Luton for our charter flight to Zurich – about 90 kilometers to the south. We left on time, despite a certain member of the playing team leaving his passport on his car seat at the training ground. Fortuitously, he had left the keys at the security office and a frantic call to a local taxi company saved the day. Needless to say, I’m not going to embarrass him by saying who it was, I’ll let you guess.
We arrived at our hotel for the week’s stay and had a late lunch. It must be said that our hotel is immaculate and one of the best we have used in recent seasons. It wasn’t long before our first practice session in the hot sun at a local club based about a mile from the front door.
Such proximity means you have options for getting to and from the hotel. Players and staff can get there by shuttle, bike, golf cart or on foot. While the players picked the bus, a few burly members of the coaching staff rode their bikes down.
I opted for the quiet golf cart, alongside club masseur Chris Domoney (aka Sladey). The only instructions we received were to “turn left between the wheat and the corn”. The countryside in this part of Germany is absolutely stunning, especially on a late summer afternoon, and especially when you’re flanked by the legend that is Bob the Kitman and our new Performance Director Elite Well Ryan.
— Brentford FC (@BrentfordFC) July 12, 2022
Thomas has a clear message for players this week and it is: set a high standard. We have to do everything we can to work hard and get the most out of this trip. From the first training session, which lasted nearly two hours, you could tell the boys were keen to do just that. I’m sure you’ll have seen the evidence captured by our content team (Dan and Luke).
It was a long and tiring day, but spirits were high at dinner as the dazzling sunset lit up the large dining room windows. The highlight of my day was yet to come though, as I would later be introduced to Keane Lewis-Potter – our new signing announced last night. Happy Days!