The first week of pratice for Nashville SC has come and gone in the blink of an eye, and it’s apparent to anyone in attendance the team is making progress.
Most of the first couple practices focused on the physical conditioning aspect of the game. Nashville SC coach Gary Smith stated that he gave his team a program to work on during the offseason, and was impressed by how well they’ve responded to the conditioning aspects so far.
“I’ve been really pleased so far. I’ve been able to force the issue a little bit on the competitive work,” said Smith.
“As you saw this morning, we have some formations and structural work for the back five. We’ll have three center backs.”
As mentioned above, Smith’s formation will be focused on having five defenders. It makes sense, considering the experience and depth the club has in that area. What remains to be seen, however, is how the rest of the field will play out. Martim Galvao was lined up as a center midfielder up high during the final portion of practice that focused on gamelike situations, with Robin Shroot also near the attacking portion of the field, for what it’s worth.
Smith also mentioned how he’s enjoyed seeing the team gel together.
“The good thing is, having construced the team, I’ve worked with three or four of the guys before,” said Smith.
“Those lads have an appreciation about what I expect, and some of the philosophy and direction. I think that makes the process a little bit easier, rather than just having 23 guys that haven’t worked in my environment before. It certainly gives us a basis to work from. The rest of the guys have picked up on a lot of the possession we’ve worked on in the week.”
A couple of players got to express their own experiences during practice as well.
London Woodberry: “It’s pretty intense, but everybody is on the same page, and the direction we’re trying to push towards. The first few days were extremely vigorous, but that’s part of the job.”
Taylor Washington: “It’s extremely professional. From the way we enter the training facility, and the coaches mindset. From day one, we’ve been working on shape, structure. From a head start, it’s been phenomenal. I’m excited for the things to come.
Practice will ensue Friday and the following week, as the club continues to prepare for the preseason game against Atlanta United.
“What I can take, is that these are some intelligent lads,” said Smith.
“They don’t take long to understand what I’m asking. They’ve got the right physical and athletic qualities to get it done as well, which means we’ve recruited reasonably well.”