June 19, 2020
Dante: ‘It’s great to be back’
On Thursday, under a beautiful and warm late-Spring sun, Les Aiglons were back on the training pitch with boots and ball. The first man out of the locker was the club captain, Danté.
At first glance, it looked like any standard training day. Life getting back to normal. But on closer inspection, we’re not quite there yet. Before the Brazil international defender can step out onto the pitch, Dr. Garcia takes his temperature, before taking that of Argentine Walter Benitez. The pair of South Americans were the first duo to start training. The warm-up was followed by technical drills and running with and without the ball and skills work, without a break, one after the other. Every 20 minutes, the pair were joined by another two Aiglons. Each new pair checked by the Doc’, like everyone from the coaching staff to the security personnel, before stepping onto the field. Everything expertly orchestrated to avoid contact. Like a ballet.
As the sun rose higher in the sky, the temperature climbed and, after an hour and a half, the captain was stretching, his first session completed: “Even if we kept fit at home during the lockdown, this was really tough. But from another side, it’s really nice to be back.”
MY BATTERIES ARE FULL
First on, first off: Dante left the field at 10:30, replaced by Myziane. An attacking swap that the defender accepted graciously. “After these difficult moments we’ve been through over the last few months, I am delighted to be back to on the pitch, doing my job, my passion. Even though we still can’t train as a squad, it’s so nice to be back. We return full of excitement and hope and can’t wait to start playing matches again.”
Those matches are still a long way off. But the 36-year-old stopper, already in great shape, is looking forward to his fifth season with Le Gym. “I feel good and the last three months has only motivated me even more. It also gave me time to think. This situation really showed us that we need to make the most of each and every second. It helps put things in perspective. I am hugely motivated. My batteries are full. I am going to give it everything to be in top form and have a great season. As soon as training has finished, I’m already looking forward to my next training session and to work even harder than before.”
It’s late morning. Dante doesn’t return to the changing room to respect the rules of health and safety. He climbs straight into his car and leaves the training centre.
We’re not quite back to normal… but we’re getting there.