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THE WATER BOYS!

Posted on 16 July 2006  - 12:00

After last week's mountain biking, pre-season training took another twist with a rafting session in France on Saturday.

After last week's mountain biking, pre-season training took another twist with a rafting session in France on Saturday.

Boss Martin Jol and assistant Chris Hughton were joined by Sporting Director Damien Comolli, the players and the staff on the venture in the beautiful surroundings of the Alps.

Having wound their way down the course, goalkeeping coach Hans Segers drove his team's raft home first just ahead of Danny Murphy, Andy Reid, Ledley King, Wayne Routledge, Jamie O'Hara and Phil Ifil.

Chris explained the theory behind the exercise. "First of all it was a bonding session with the lads split into their teams.

"It was also something different. We're here for nine days in total and the lads have trained very, very hard and this was a change of scenery from the training ground.

"Most of all, it was a training session. It wasn't as if they just sat there and let the raft do its own thing, they had to work hard as a team to get to the end of the course."

It was certainly a new experience for everyone - including Chris. "I loved it," he beamed. "It was very, very good. Hard work, but a very worthwhile exercise.

"You always worry how the lads might respond but they thoroughly enjoyed it as well.

"It's something that if we found ourselves in the same environment we wouldn't think twice of doing again."

As well as the snaps below, you can look at larger pictures by clicking the numbers here - 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8.