Tuesday Jan 19, 2021  
  14/07/2013: Auronzo di Cadore: Day 3
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Day three and a 7am start. Coach Vladimir Petkovic has scheduled a pre-breakfast jog around St. Catherine's Lake in Auronzo di Cadore - an 8.5 km trek to get the blood flowing. Training itself began at 9.45am after the players had had breakfast. Ciani, Antic and Keita finished up that bit sooner than the rest and took to the field for a quick game of basketball, taking turns at finding the net. Petkovic had also finished early though and expressed his displeasure at their shooting technique by giving his own demonstration of how to do it.

The morning session commenced with an obstacle course before Petkovic created groups for a game of football tennis. His own competitive side emerged as he teamed up with Crecco, Cataldi and Rozzi and his showmanship was evident as he won a point for his team with an exquisite backheel. The group retreated to the gym shortly afterwards and then cooled down with a quick dip in St. Catherine's Lake. All morning, the goalkeepers trained separately with coach Adalberto Grigoni.

In the afternoon, there was more focus on work with the ball, passing and dribbling drills firstly and then 2 v 2, defence and attack exercises. These exercises initially involved the more experienced players with the others training in the gym. Petkovic upped the ante to 4 v 4 and then swapped the players, with Cataldi and Vinicius shining when it was the turn of the fringe players. Biava also impressed during the exercise with a well taken goal and he told awed onlookers that he had no idea how he managed to find the net.

Petkovic was heard issuing instructions frequently, particularly to the youngsters. Crecco, Tounkara, Antic and Keita were all on the receiving end of some advice as was Vinicius who was told to limit the time he spends on the ball. Vinicius was showing some of his samba flair during the session. In a keep-up exercise, where the focus seemed to be on not only keeping the ball in the air but playing it accurately to each other, Vinicius did an impressive pirouette trick. He was later caught getting his ass kicked (literally), the outcome of some sort of game-related forfeit. While most kicks were friendly in nature, Ciani's attempt at an ass kick looked dangerous.

A friendly 6 v 6 game ended the session. Strakosha, Dias, Cataldi, Crecco, Keita and Tounkara faced off against Guerrieri, Antic, Vinicius, Alfaro, Rozzi and Cana. The game ended 1-0 with Cataldi making the difference between the sides.

Author: C
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