Dunfermline Athletic

Ayia Napa Uncovered

Friday, 25th Jan 2013

Under 20s squad talk about their experiences in Cyprus

Scott Campbell, Grant Munro and Blair Henderson

The Dunfermline Athletic Under 20s have returned from Cyprus into the jaws of a Scottish winter but when they spoke to the website on Friday they gave their impressions of the serious side of the famous Ayia Napa resort.

Grant Munro
"It was good to get away from here and get some nice weather. We had access to a gym and a swimming pool all the time." Explaining that they trained alongside Champion League sides.  Levski Sofia, Ruban Kazan and a Swiss team were there at the same time as us and FC Moldova. "We watched Legia Warsaw a few times and everything was high tempo and when we get back into action we should be flying too." 

"We had training sessions to work on specific things like positions. We played a new formation against the Russian team and tried game specific tactics.

Scott Campbell was one of two who did not play in Cyprus. He claims to be just a few weeks away from returning after a cruciate ligament injury:-
"It has definitely brought us closer together as a team. It was a lot more professional way of thinking over there, knowing what to eat and when to relax. The other teams there were very quiet and acted like robots".

Blair Henderson
"There was good food every day""A run at seven o'clock in the morning was something different." Possibly because of snoring he added:- "My room mate moved out and slept on Allan and Declan's couch." 

Declan OKaneDeclan O'Kane
"The experience of being away, the weather and seeing other teams train. It was a lot better training over there and I think that we are more of a team now." He relayed how the team went to watch the Famagusta v Limassol game but spent as much time watching the crowd:- "They were absolutely mental. There were flash bangs all over the pitch and sitting on top of the fence. They spent as much time not watching the game and had signs saying things like 'Football is nothing without Hooligans'.

Allan Smith
"The trip was fandabidozi. The first time we trained on the grass we thought it was a bit sticky, but we got used to it.  Training was really the same as we do here, but with other things added on.  I wish I was back there now! The Russians from CSKA Moscow were brilliant. We have come back a lot sharper and team morale is high.  Having seen Legia Warsaw train Allan thought that they were "fantastic, the tempo was so fast"

Lewis MartinLewis Martin
"CSKA under 21s were all on £3500 per week  but we still managed to beat them. We should have beaten them by more.  I played 90 minutes both games."  Lewis was impressed with the trip and when asked if he would like to do it again - the answer was a definite "yes".

Jordan Brown revealed:-
"Any misdemeanours meant that the culprit was despatched in the cold pool outside; Lewis Spence was in it a few times. We went to watch Ayia Napa against Paphos and then Famagusta against Limmasol which was amazing. We had two quiz nights where Scott (Campbell) and Jack won both." Jordan thought they played well against CSKA, "In the first half all the possession was in their half, either we had it or they just kept trying to keep it at the back. I expected them to be better than they were.

Ross Drummond, Jordan Brown and Scott Mercer

Ross Drummond
"It was a good experience and team bonding was built up. I enjoyed playing against CSKA and also watched Legia Warsaw training. We played well in the first half against CSKA. They were very disciplined in the way they went about the hotel. We did double sessions every day in the first week and there was more running than we do here when on Astroturf.. A highlight was jumping into the cold pool together."

Andy RitchieAndy Ritchie is keen to do it all again:-
"The pitches were tremendous and there were really good facilities. I had been away once to Denmark with Inverness Caley but it was not as good as Cyprus. CSKA were a good team, they all looked professional but we just played them the right way and managed to beat them. We had a night in the hotel were we sang. Grant Petrie sang Dignity and Declan's John Hartson's impression was one of the best moments."

"It was good to be abroad in a nice place with some sun. Famagusta against Limassol was the best game I have ever seen; the standard wasn't brilliant but they really got stuck in against each other. There were flares, fireworks and smoke."

Scott Gray, Jack Bruce and Scott Mercer

Scott Gray came on as a sub in both the games played in Cyprus. He chose to name the jokers in the pack (as did everyone else):-
"Finn and Spence - they were more annoying."

Jack BruceJack Bruce had been on foreign trip before to Holland
"The gym was good, the pool was good and the sauna. The games brought out a good team effort; we won the first and maybe should have got a draw out of the second one. It was great to play and train on grass especially in the sun.
"It was amazing playing against CSKA Moscow and beating them. They gave us more time on the ball."

Scott Mercer shared a room with Lewis Martin and he described the training as similar to that done here
"The boys were buzzing and I think the standard was better. We got more water than we we normally do!
"Grant Munro was the messiest person I have ever met and Spencey said when he came back 'I am more mature now'."

Lewis Spence and Finn Graham with John Potter

Finn Graham was interviewed with Lewis Spence, he accepted that they were possibly the characters of the tour:-
"We were the double act but the trip was really good. I enjoyed the atmosphere of the match we went to and taking part in the games. We were impressed by CSKA they were sharp and the other team were just physical. We did well to compete with them. Overall it was a good experience that we should benefit from."

Lewis Spence had been in Portugal, Holland and Italy through football but claimed Cyprus was better. He revealed that he had to wake his room mate up every morning.  "The crossing and finishing was better in training. Our balance was pointed out on the video recordings. When we watched other teams in training they did more sports science things. "One day we had to train on the beach because Ryan Goodfellow wouldn't go in the outdoor pool."

The overall opinion from all the boys was that it was a great experience, they trained in good weather on grass, saw some top teams from Europe train beside them and feel that they have come back as a closer, fitter squad  - and they had the added bonus of beating CSKA Moscow!

Scott Mercer and Shaun Byrne

Interviews with Shaun Byrne and John Potter to follow

The Cyprus Story
Leonardo takes Pars to Cyprus
A Place in the Sun for Byrne
Under 20s leave for Cyprus
First Report from Cyprus
Report from Cyprus
Life's a Beach in Cyprus
News from Cyprus Day Eight
Dunfermline v CSKA Moscow
A Night out in Ayia Napa
Under 20s v Russians
Who are You?
Dunfermline v FC Yenisey Krasnoyarsk
Ayia Napa Uncovered
Captain's Cyprus Log
The Coach's Review



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