Veteran goalkeeper Michel Vorm reckons he’s never felt as fit, as he opens up on Tottenham’s intense pre-season training.
Heading into the 17th pre-season of his career, Vorm is no stranger to the importance of hard work and retaining your fitness over the Summer break.
Cast your minds back to opening day last season, when Hugo Lloris was subbed off due to injury at Goodison Park and Michel Vorm was required to lace up his boots.
Had Vorm been slacking, Spurs would have paid a costly price, but instead, the graft Vorm had put in over the pre-season allowed him to come straight into the team and perform when called upon.
In an interview uploaded to the Tottenham website, Vorm took a trip down memory lane, recalling his first ever pre-season, with Dutch outfit Utrecht as a 17 year old in 2000. He said:
“At that time in Utrecht, of course we had a goalkeeping coach and we did our bit, but we were also involved a lot with the outfield players, so when we went on a training camp and they were up at 7am to run, we had to run as well.”
“That was a bit old school and I was struggling! One of the reasons I became a goalkeeper was not having to run as much!”
The 33 year old then went on to discuss how much has changed since then, as well as during his time at Tottenham.
“The game has changed over the years,” He added. “This is my fourth pre-season at Tottenham, the work is detailed to what we need as goalkeepers.”
“We do our running as well, just smaller distances. I know my body very well and every time you come back from holiday, you know what is ahead, especially with this manager and staff.”
Vorm also acknowledged how important a strong pre-season is to the team and hailed the benefits of being the fittest side in the Premier League. He said:
“It’s tough, but we know what’s coming. We need it.”
“You only have to look at the amount of games we play and we have to be ready. I have to be ready if I’m called on as well and that happened a few times last season.”
“It’s the same for the whole squad, He added. “Everyone played a part last season and we’re one of the fittest teams in the Premier League.”
“Pre-season is tough but it’s what we need because of the way we play and that starts on the training pitch.”
When asked whether he’s learned to love the pre-season Vorm responded defiantly with:
“Love it? That’s never going to happen!”
“After a few weeks of holiday you starting thinking ‘I need to do something’ and I did my bits and pieces over the last two weeks. That makes it easier.”
“Everyone does that now,” He added. “You have to. It’s a long and intense season and after a few weeks of rest, you need to start over again.”
“That’s why I don’t say I love it, but I know I need this. Back in the day it would be more like I’d be complaining, and now it’s more ‘let’s do it’ because it’s for our benefit.”
And finally, Vorm took a moment to hail the Tottenham coaching staff as he claimed he’s the fittest he’s been in the whole of his career. He said:
“At times as a goalkeeper you can play games and you won’t have a lot to do, but here you always need to be ready, to be switched on. The way we play, we have to be alert all the time.”
“It’s a challenge, especially mentally and even though I’m turning 34 in October, I’m still learning. It keeps you sharp. I’ve never been as fit as this in my whole career and that’s down to the manager and the coaching staff.”
“Sometimes people don’t believe me,” He added. “They say ‘are you 26, 27?’ but that’s how I feel. In the past I had a few injuries and I was thinking ‘come on, I’m only 26’ but now I’m almost 34 and I feel great.”
“That’s down to the work we’ve done in the last few years. As I said, I don’t say I love it, but I need it and it’s certainly easier for me than when I was younger!”
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