COLIN Cooper is delighted with the efforts of his Hartlepool United players so far on their pre-season training camp in southern Spain.
Speaking to the Mail this afternoon, the Pools manager revealed he is working the player’s hard with two to three sessions a day.
This morning started with a run before two football-based sessions at their camp at La Cala Resort, in the hills of southern Spain.
Cooper, who praised the facilities available to them, has, however, stressed the week-long break is no holiday.
“I have been very happy with the first couple of sessions so far this week,” Cooper told SportMail.
“I am happy with the shape that everybody has come back in and the player’s all seem really focused.
“We are not blessed with massive finances but the club has been going on the same pre-season to Holland for the last seven years.
“We get very well looked after in Holland but this opportunity in Spain came up, which is actually less expensive than going to Holland.
“So we decided to explore something different and I have been very pleased.
“I know this facility well and when the opportunity came up I just thought it was something we couldn’t miss.
“In terms of pre-season, we are a week earlier than most clubs would want to go away but I am delighted with the facilities and we are being looked after really well.
“The training pitch is very good and it gives me the opportunity to get some of those principles for the season bedded in.
“Both for the players that were already here and also the new lads.”
The players will be hitting the training pitches again this evening before sitting down to watch the World Cup semi-final match between Brazil and Germany.
Cooper added: “While we are very lucky to be where we are, the reason we are 15 minutes into the hills is because we are not on holiday.
“While we may have these wonderful surroundings, we are here to work.
“We were up at 7.30am this morning for an 8am run before breakfast, then we had a couple hours of rest before a football session down on the pitch.
“I sound like the school teacher, but this afternoon the player’s were sent to their rooms to stay out of the sun.
“If I allowed them to sit and sunbathe then they wouldn’t have the energy for tonight’s session, which will be physical and hard.
“They need to rest and stay out of the sunshine as that saps your energy.”