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49ers visit training

Posted on 15 July 2010  - 12:00

Two of the big stars of the San Francisco 49ers NFL team paid a visit to our first training session in San Jose on Thursday.

49ers visit training

Two of the big stars of the San Francisco 49ers NFL team paid a visit to our first training session in San Jose on Thursday.

Quarterback Alex Smith and Offensive Lineman Joe Staley watched training and then joined in as coach Clive Allen put on a shooting session.

The pair showed pretty impressive 'soccer' skills as well and Staley, a towering figure whose main job in NFL is to protect QB Smith, found the bottom corner with his first shot at goal!

"From our perspective, we don't have this level of club soccer in this country so to be able to watch all your international players up close and personal is great," said Smith, who finished the 2009 NFL season in the best form of his career.

"In fact, we'll soon be into pre-season ourselves, it's just a couple of weeks away.

"I suppose the sports are similar in pre-season because it can be a dangerous time and players don't want to take any unneccessary injuries in games that don't really mean that much, but at the same you need the games to get ready to play.

"That's something we have to manage in American Football.

"When we practice we work on specific areas and we'll go for short intervals of 10, 12 plays, take a break and then do something similar. Again, that's similar as well to the high-intensity work your players do."

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Clive took a particular interest in the 49ers as he stepped into American Football himself after retiring from football in 1995 with a brief spell as kicker for the London Monarchs in NFL Europe.

He said: "The guys are obviously interested in football and they were great fun.

"They watched the lads work this morning and I'm sure there is a mutual admiration there, they realise our guys are top professionals, just as they are in the NFL.

"I had a great experience playing for the London Monarchs a few years back. I've always enjoyed the game and can certainly appreciate how good these guys are. They are at the top of their profession and it was great to meet them.

"I'm sure having met them a few of the lads will take an interest in the NFL season when it starts."

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