DRUMMY: TIME WELL SPENT
They say a change is as good as a rest, so with that in mind, and with preparations for the upcoming campaign gathering momentum on a daily basis, Dermot Drummy and his Under 21s opted to leave Cobham behind for a short while and continue their pre-season work in new surroundings.
Obertraun in Austria was the destination for the eight-day training camp, which was designed to improve the players' fitness levels, as well as cementing relationships, both on and off the pitch, as the manager explains.
'Myself, Andy Myers [assistant manager] and Mark Beeney [goalkeeping coach] took a group of 23 players to Austria for pre-season training,' he says. 'It was also for team bonding and staff meetings as well, and it proved to be a very good trip.
'Our sports psychologist, Tim Harkness, came out with us and did some workshops with the staff and the boys, I also did some as well, so we got a lot of good work done off the pitch.'
More established players such as Adam Phillip, Billy Clifford, Sam Walker and Conor Clifford were part of the travelling contingent, along with younger players such as Ruben Loftus-Cheek, who will be hoping to make an impact during the new season.
While there was, of course, plenty of time for the boys to relax and unwind, the majority of work was done on the training pitch.
The trip ended with a friendly against 1860 Munich, and though the result wasn't ideal, there were more than enough positives for Drummy and his management team to take to believe that the 2012/13 season will be a memorable one for the Blues.
'On the pitch, it was fantastic in that we took over some senior players and some younger players as well, so it was a mixture of ages,' says Drummy.
'We played 1860 Munich and lost 3-2. In truth, we could have defended better as a team, but there were some really pleasing performances, particularly from Nathan Ake and Adam Nditi.
'Philip scored a penalty and Nditi scored a great solo goal. The display in the second half was impressive and all in all it was a very productive trip.
'You get to learn a lot about the youngsters on these type of trips when they're away from home, but they all acquitted themselves well, so we were very pleased.'