Fitness is an important part of success on the football pitch, and as the Sugar Boyz prepare for their first Concacaf Gold Cup match against Trinidad and Tobago this Sunday, members of the health and fitness team are assuring that the players are fit and ready to go. Team Physio Alister James explains that the training camp a Kaiser University prior to their first Concacaf Gold Cup preliminary round match really helped the players’ fitness levels.
“Most of the overseas players, their leagues finish a couple of weeks, almost a month before we actually came (on camp). But the camp that we had at Kaiser University did wonders in terms of getting their fitness up to a place where we are comfortable,” James said.
Team doctor Dr. Duanna Pemberton said that all is being done to ensure that the players are healthy and fit as possible. “They’ve been playing some hard games over the past couple of weeks. So we just want them to be at their optimal fitness level and strength level, as healthy as possible so that they can go out and play,” Dr. Pemberton said. She also explained that they have to control the diet of the players. “Some of them are accustomed to not eating as healthy as they should but we try to control the diet. We try to make them take the vitamins and…they would work on their physical fitness, muscle building, and strengthening,” she said.
Both she and Mr. James highlighted the importance of rest ahead of their games next week. “Rest is very important…. when training, the muscles are actually working, breaking down the muscle tissues and everything and for that muscle to repair and be fresh for the next day, you have to get rest,” James said.
“Rest is very important,” Dr. Pemberton said. “It helps with muscle recovery after an extreme training session or even after an extreme match. So we do encourage rest even though sometimes they don’t feel like they need it. But we as the medical (personnel) and the trainers, have to encourage it to the players. So it’s very important.”
The Sugar Boyz will play Trinidad and Tobago on Sunday at the DRV Pink Stadium in Fort Lauderdale at 3:30 pm, followed by the United States on Wednesday, June 28 at 9:30 pm at Citypark, St. Louis, and Jamaica on July 2nd at 7 pm at the Levi’s Stadium, Santa Clara.
Caption: Team physio Alister James treating national team player Carlos Bertie during training on Friday at the DRV PNK training complex in Fort Lauderdale.