Preseason Day 9: Guruzeta Goals And Defensive Duties

Gorka Guruzeta Training Mikel San Jose

Gorka Guruzeta scored a few nice goals in Tuesday’s training (AC)

Tuesday morning’s training session at Lezama was a bit of a change from what Athletic have been doing up until this point. The day started off with Conditioning Coach Pablo Fernández leading the team in indoor drills for over an hour before taking the field. Once outside, the squad was broken up into two groups. Eduardo Berizzo and Roberto Bonano took the defenders and midfielders to another field, while Ernesto Marucci and Mariano Uglessich handled the forwards on the main field.

Berizzo’s group worked on a few aspects, such as linkup play and passing in triangles. However, the defenders also got an intense workout as one drill saw them have to face the midfielders who were attacking the goal. Some of this saw the players go one-on-one while at others times there were teams. The focus was placed on the defenders knowing their assignments and how to communicate and cover for each other during movement. Meanwhile, the midfielders were tasked with protecting possession under pressure.

On the main field, Marucci led the forwards in several drills focused on getting the ball into the middle of the area to create scoring opportunities. All four goalkeepers shared time defending the sticks under the orders of Carlos Kisluk, while the forwards were pushed to attack faster and be more accurate with their crosses and passes. Gorka Guruzeta, among others, scored several nice goals to the delight of the fans in attendance.

Athletic will have their second training session of the day at 6:00pm, this time behind closed doors. If anything important happens there will be an update, but for now the players are taking some time to rest before reporting back to Lezama. The first preseason friendly of the summer is quickly approaching with the Lions set to face off with Amorebieta on Thursday evening.

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