With their first game of UEFA EURO 2008™ rapidly approaching, Poland's players cannot wait for a taste of the action and will be in prime condition according to their physio, Mike Lindemann.
Poland's Dutch-born coach Leo Beenhakker has worked all over the world and hopes to give his players the benefit of his experience – and the ideas he has picked up on his travels – as they try to make it out of the group stage of a major tournament for the first time this decade. Helping to make this dream a reality is his countryman Lindemann, who has been charged with getting the players to the right level physically. "We have played all of our friendly games and now need to work on other things," Lindemann told euro2008.com. "A lot of the hard work has been done – we are now focusing on sharpness."
Poland play Germany on Sunday in their Group B opener and Lindemann has introduced some specific tests to get the maximum out of the players. "We have two tests. We check the players physically and mentally," he added. "We need to know what the player's body is telling him and the coach. We use a special programme which started with NASA and now teams like AC Milan and FC Barcelona use. We test each player for three-and-a-half minutes – I don't want to give away too much information – but it works well and it helps the medical staff assess a player's fitness."
Anxious to start
According to Lindemann, the system even governs which players can train on a given day. "We have a computer system that tests seven or eight players every morning to see what level they are at. I then go to the coach to tell him which players can attend training. Now we are concentrating on the top 13 or 14 players, the ones who are likely to play in the first game," added Lindemann. Based in the Austrian town of Bad Waltersdorf, Poland played their final warm-up game, against Denmark, last weekend and the Dutch physio says the players are now eager to get out onto the pitch for real. "The team is anxious to start. They have been in the hotel and working on the training ground non-stop for a long time now. They have been busy preparing but now all they want is to get going and play the first game," he added.
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