Algeria’s Pre-World Cup 1st Training Camp Starts Now
The World Cup less than a month away and Algeria’s first pre-World Cup Training camp has started. It started today with the arrival of the first batch of players. Those are Gaouaoui, Zemmamouche Bougherra, Matmour, Yahia, M’Bolhi and Medjani. Other players will soon follow while the rest will have to wait until the weekend as they will play championship games with their clubs.
A special mention to Portsmouth’s Hassan Yebda and Nadir Belhadj who might end-up playing the FA Cup final against premier league champion Chelsea on Saturday. Nadir Belhadj is not certain to play as he is recovering from a hamstring injury that kept him from playing for the last nine games with his club, the good news is that he has returned to full training. My worry now is that he (or Yebda) plays while not having totally recovered from his injury and injures himself a second time for this time missing the World Cup…Belhadj has recently received an offer to play for Bolton next season. Also, Nadir Belhadj has still one game suspension meaning he’ll miss the Slovenia opening game. Unless Raouraoua manages to lift the sanction next week at the CAF headquarters in Cairo, which is unlikely. Yebda is not certain to participate either, he has flown to France to be nursed back to fitness by former Arsenal physio Philippe Boixel after missing Portsmouth’s last two games with an abductor muscle injury.
Yebda said: “It will be 50-50 whether I play in the cup final. However, I can’t take any risks and I must always listen to what my body is saying, as any professional player should.”
So, by next Sunday, all 30 pre-selected players should be in Crans-Montana, Switzerland, until May 26th, the training camp ending with a friendly game against Ireland on May 27th in Dublin. Why Crans Montana? Well, because of the 1500 metres of altitudes as we’ll be playing in high altitude in South Africa. Also it is a way to escape from popular pressure which you can have an idea of looking at the video of some of the players arriving in Geneva (see below).
What will happen in Crans Montana, what’s the program?
Well the first thing is that it is an opportunity for the new players to get to know their new international team mates. I think of Ryad Boudebouz (FC Sochaux), Foued Kadir (Valenciennes), Habib Bellaïd (Boulogne-sur-Mer), Mesbah (Lecce), Adlène Guedioura (Wolverhampton) Medjani (Ajaccio) and Rais Waheb M’bolhi (Slavia Sofia), this is a new adventure for those guys and an opportunity to sow the seeds of friendship and group cohesion.
From this first training camp Rabah Saadane wants 4 things:
1_ Help injured players get back in shape.
2_ Give tired players an opportunity to rest and gather new strengths.
3_ Get players lacking competition back into shape.
4_ A clearer idea on the final 23 players that will make it to South Africa.
The training camp will first start with a medical evaluation under the supervision of Dr Jean Marc Ferré. Every single player will have his health and form checked. The phisio check-ups will help decide on the appropriate program for every individual player. The players will be divided into three groups:
The first group will deal with injured players or players recovering from injury. The group will be under the supervision of Algerian Dr Chalabi (from Aspetar hospital, Qatar) who already know most of the players in the group. Players such as Hassan Yebda, Mourad Meghni, Lounes Gaouaoui, Yazid Mansouri, Medhi Lacen, Nadir Belhadj and Madjid Bougherra.
The second group will deal with players having had an exhaustive season, the aim being to help them rest and get their energy back. Players like Laïfaoui, Kadir, Boudebouz, Matmour, Ghezzal, Djebbour, M’Bholi and Mesbah.
The third group is aimed at players lacking competitions, players like Karim Ziani, Rafik Halliche, Antar Yahia and Adlene Guedioura.
Players will still be able to switch group according to their progress.
So how is Crans Montana anyway?
The arrival in Geneva of Mbolhi, Medjani, Matmour and Gaouaoui:
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