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Stepanenko: We got substantial workload over a week

Saturday, January 21, 2017



Shakhtar midfielder told about the team’s opening training camp, the peculiarities of Paulo Fonseca’s training sessions, and about a Ukraine coach visiting La Manga

- Taras, tell us, please, about some curious stuff happening at the training camp, about the way your work is set?
- We train twice a day. We continuously do some ballwork combined with fitness. The sessions’ pace is very high. After a week, we already experience some fatigue. That means that we got some substantial workload. The first five days are always the toughest, with the body starting to adapt after that. At the moment, the guys don’t seem to complain of DOMS, with us gradually adjusting to the pace.

- This is the second training camp involving Paulo Fonseca’s coaching staff. Could you mention any particular style of work?
- Of course I can, Paulo Fonseca’s style is a little different from that of the mentors I used to work with before. From the very first day we have been doing just the ballwork, without any special aerobic exercises. Everything is built around playing activities and tactics sessions. That is, in training we practise the elements our coaches require us to use in the game.

- Do you have any favourite exercises?
- If you train with balls, instead of just running around in circles, then every exercise is my favourite.

- Unusually, they have scheduled the first friendly match just for the ninth day of your training camp?
- That’s a bit unusual, of course. Normally, over nine days we might have four or five friendlies, with only one in this particular case. Therefore, everyone just can’t wait to play. It’s understandable though that there are many players and everyone can’t be fielded. However, I am confident that the coaching staff will make as many substitutions as they can. While at the next camp, they will prepare us for the game against Celta.

- How many minutes are you ready to spend on the pitch?
- If I try hard, I can play for the entire 90 minutes. But one really intense half would be enough for the first match, I guess.

- The national team coach Raul Riancho watches your training sessions. Did you manage to have a word with him?
- Yes, Raul has come to see how our training process goes. We met, talked and joked. He is originally from Santander, saying that’s the best city on earth. While I tried to convince him that it’s better here, but he didn’t agree. Raul is a very positive man generally. And when there’s work to do, he’s serious, but when comes the time for jokes, he is relaxed and cheerful. This time, he’s come to see how the guys are getting back on track with the training process to inform Andrii Shevchenko of the camp progress.