Sheffield Wednesday: New-look Owls seek to forge bond in Portugal

Sheffield Wednesday defender Darryl Lachman in training at Middlewood Road
Sheffield Wednesday defender Darryl Lachman in training at Middlewood Road

Defender Darryl Lachman believes the Owls’ up-and-coming trip to Portugal will help the players bond with each other ahead of the 2015/16 season.

Carlos Carvalhal’s troops jet out to the Algarve for a five-day warm weather training camp on Wednesday, July 22. As part of their preparations, Wednesday will face Portuguese Primeira Liga side S.C. Braga at Estadio da Nora, Ferreiras, Albufeira.

With just three weeks to go until the start of the Championship season, Carvalhal is still fine-tuning his squad but Lachman, one of eight new arrivals, reckons the trip will benefit the team in the long run.

He told The Star: “We have got a lot of new players. We go to Portugal next week where we can get to know each other better. We will be spending all day together so we can talk to one another and get to know each other’s strengths and weaknesses.”

Since beginning pre-season training on July 1, the Owls first-team squad have been doing double sessions most days. The gruelling schedule is designed to build up their fitness levels and Lachman accepts it is a necessary evil as they prepare for the challenges looming on the horizon.

“I don’t like pre-season but it’s part of the job,” he conceded. “For me, it is to get fit but that’s the same for everybody. You want to avoid getting injured.

“You go into friendly matches and you never quite know what to expect but you keep giving 100%.”

A former Ajax youth product, Lachman said he has settled in well at Hillsborough following his undisclosed move from Dutch team FC Twente last month.

He said: “Everybody has welcomed me to the club. It’s a new start when you move to a new club but I am enjoying it here. The group is fun and we have got a lot of quality.”

Lachman, who has played international football for the Caribbean island of Curacao, is looking to impress over the coming weeks to force his way into Carvalhal’s plans.

Tom Lees, believed to being monitored by several Premier League clubs, and captain Glenn Looven formed an outstanding partnership last season, helping Wednesday equal a club-record 17 league clean sheets.

But places are up for grabs, with Carvalhal boasting a plethora of options in the centre-back position. Lachman, Lees, Loovens and Vincent Sasso are all pushing to play against Bristol City on August 8.

Lachman, contracted to Wednesday until 2017, said: “I am ready to fight for my place. You have to do that at every club. I know my qualities and if the coach needs me I will be there for him.

“If he [Carvalhal] chooses somebody else, I will train even harder to get into his first eleven.”

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