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Fitness and football

21 July 2014

  • European training camp all about fitness says Stuart Gray
  • Owls to face FC Arsenal Tula on Wednesday
  • SWFC head coach expects physical test from Russian top flight side

Head coach Stuart Gray has said at this stage of pre-season the main focus is to build up fitness in preparation for the rigours of Championship football.

While the Owls are being put through their paces during the five-day training camp in Slovenia, Gray’s side will face Russian top flight side FC Arsenal Tula on Wednesday.

Tula’s season is set to kick off one week before the Owls’ opening fixture with Brighton and the Russian side face a tough introduction to life in the Premier League following their promotion last season.

Champions League qualifiers Zenit St Petersburg await on day one, followed by Europa League side Lokomotiv Moscow and Gray expects a stern challenge to conclude the European trip.

He said: “At this moment in time, it’s all about getting the fitness in the legs with the running and hard graft that is required in pre-season.

“We’ve made a good start over here, training has been sharp and that’s how it has to be.

“It will be a good test for us against Arsenal Tula. Their season begins before ours so they are further into their pre-season programme than we are, so they’ll have that fitness.”

Tula’s training pitch is in close proximity to the Owls’ facility - an adjacent field that overlooks the Russian side’s base in Maribor.

“I’m certain it will be a physical test for us,” Gray continued. “We have watched them in training and saw them play a game earlier in the week and they will be a handful.” will have a full report and reaction from the game (Wednesday 23 July, 6.00pm local time), and Wednesday Player will broadcast extended match highlights.

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