Partizan squad departed for Antalya with a 12.20pm charter flight from Belgrade for a 16-day training camp in Turkish resort of Belek. We spoke to players Markovic, Sanicanin and Zivkovic on winter preps so far, how much boss Petric changed his demands, can we expect better and stronger Partizan for the remainder of the season and how far this team can reach out in UEFA Europa Conference League.
This was the longest mid-season break ever – more than a month of rest. How hard was it to get back into the training pace?
“I agree it was a lengthy break. Before, we had little short of one month off the pitch and it wasn`t easy to return to all training activities now. As for the form, we are used to strains and all of us trained individually during the break, so we all arrived for training sort of ready for it”.
“Never had such a long break and possibly never such a long mid-season preps to follow. We are all professionals so you can see during training sessions that players did their job during the break. We were all active, therefore we found it easier to enter mid-season preps. Honestly, we find this basic part of the preps hard but we are finished with it and now we have Belek training camp and friendlies to play”.
“We definitely had a nice rest and we all arrived fresh for the start of the mid-season training. We had more than a month to get a full rest but we also had a bit of individual exercise during the break to arrive here ready and rested”.
Partizan boss Gordan Petric insists on family atmosphere, to see you spend as much time as possible with your families and you had one training session a day so far to have you fully motivated for upcoming training camp.
“Boss keeps saying to play for ourselves and our families. When the mid-season break started, he said we should spend our time with family and friends to get back here as joyful as possible”.
Novelty at the Partizan training grounds is a so-called training hill. It can be so strenuous and we heard players in some other clubs would vomit after such exercise. How did you adapt to it? Did you feel sick or you took it on bravely?
“Every other day we train at that infamous hill. There was no vomiting so far and I hope it won`t be. Our physios doze such sessions rightly so everything is fine”.
“Lots of teams in fine leagues and clubs train as such. It will mean to us as well and help us get ready and advance”.
Partizan will play 5 friendlies over 16-day Belek training camp.
We finished Belgrade part of the preps, the tougher one, now we go to Belek with focus on friendly games where we should implement everything we did during training sessions. We are ready for it as we are in a training process for more than 20 days.
CSKA Moscow and Austria Vienna are among the opponents scheduled to be played during Belek preps. It seems like a good intro for upcoming European and domestic challenges.
“It`s really important we have good opponents for these friendlies, good tests to see where we stand. It`s better to play stronger opposition with outcome of those games not of paramount importance although that almost impossible when you play at Partizan. We`ll also get to see our former teammate, now CSKA player, Sasa Zdjelar, which will be extremely pleasing for all of us”.
The whole mid-season training is a good intro to rest of the domestic season and Sheriff UEFA Europa Conference League tie.
“Now we have a best part of the preps when we play lots of friendlies. We did tougher part at home and I think everything will be fine once we restart the season”.
We qualified for the knockout stage of the UEFA Europa Conference League. How far we can go?
“I don`t want to talk about it that early. Most importantly, we need to win this upcoming tie against Sheriff. But, even those two games are too far now and we have enough time to get ready for them, analyze the opponent and, if everything goes as planned, win both games”.
PHOTO GALLERY: MIROSLAV TODOROVIC