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Mark Hughes brings the QPR squad to the Amendoeira Golf Resort

Mark Hughes, recently appointed manager of Queen's Park Rangers Football Club took advantage of a two week gap in fixtures to bring his squad to Portugal for warm weather training between 14th and 19th February.

The private and quiet Amendoeira Sports Club at the Amendoeira Golf Resort near Silves was the ideal location for training and for the newest players in the squad to get to know their team mates.

"We came to Amendoeira because we had heard good reports and it was highly recommended", explained Hughes on why he chose the venue. "It has lived up to our expectations: it's a quality complex and the accommodation is first class. They are geared up to look after football teams and the football pitch is excellent at the moment," he added.

The Harlington pitches back in the UK have been frozen in the recent cold spell so it was ideal for the team to train in warmer conditions. The team is preparing for two crucial Barclays Premier League home fixtures against Fulham and Everton, and Hughes gave the players a disciplined approach during the camp, getting them up early each day for breakfast before training on the full size, natural grass football pitch.

Bowen believes in the benefit of training camps. "We have had success with this before and this is our opportunity to do good work on and off the training ground. We want to return to England as a better squad and a better team," he explained.

The line-up included Anton Ferdinand, cousin of former England International striker, Les Ferdinand who recently enjoyed a round of golf at the Amendoeira Golf Resort. "We've come here to work and get things sorted," said Anton, and when asked about the facilities at the Amendoeira Sports Club, he added, "They are very, very good."

Ex-Liverpool striker Djibril Cisse, on a six month loan to the club, joined the squad in Portugal, as did striker Jamie Mackie, goalkeeper Paddy Kenny and newest team member, Samba Diakite who met with the squad for the first time following his participation in the African Cup of Nations.Between training sessions, the players and management team had the option to play golf on one of the resort's golf courses: the 9 hole, par 3 Oceânico Academy course, or the two 18 hole courses: the Oceânico Faldo Course designed by Sir Nick Faldo, and Oceânico O'Connor Jnr. course designed by Christy O'Connor Jnr.

When players Peter Ramage and Tommy Smith took on goalies Paddy Kenny and Brian Murphy, the goalies lost much to their dismay!

The QPR team stayed in luxurious two bedroom apartments with the management team in a three bedroom villa. Meals were specifically catered for in-line with the team's nutritional requirements at the stunning clubhouse. The experienced Oceânico team was on hand to ensure the stay ran smoothly, including training, accommodation, meals and transfers around the resort, and to ensure last minute requests and alterations to the programme were accomplished.

Other teams who have trained at the Amendoeira Sports Club include Peterborough FC, Sunderland AFC and Aston Villa FC, and from Ireland, Kerry GAA, Dublin Hurlers and the senior Irish Ladies football team. A host of friendly matches have also been played there between a range of European professional teams, including German team, Hertha Berlin, Danish team, Brøndby IF, Dutch teams Groningen TC and Ajax FC, and Portuguese team Portimonense SC, amongst others.

In addition to the full size pitch, the Amendoeira Sports Club boasts six tennis courts, 5-a-side football pitches, a beach volleyball/football court, a gymnasium and sports bar. Amendoeira Golf Resort also offers a range of golf courses: the 9 hole, par 3 Oceânico Academy course, ideally suited to beginners and those wanting to improve their game, and two championship golf courses: the Oceânico Faldo Course, and Oceânico O'Connor Jnr. course.

Professional warm weather training packages are available for football, Gaelic football and hurling. The stunning clubhouse provides the perfect venue for all food & beverage requirements of the professional teams. Accommodation is available in spacious two bedroom apartments and three bedroom villas: the two bedroom apartments are situated in private village complexes with large communal swimming pools and the villas have their own pools.The experienced Oceânico team tailor-make each warm weather training package to suit the client and can also arrange off-site excursions and team building activities.

source: algarvedaylinews.com

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