The Cardiff Blues squad returned from Ireland this weekend after a hard week of training at the University of Limerick. Speaking on www.cardiffblues.com David Young was obviously pleased with the way the training sessions had progressed.
The training camp has been important for everyone but especially for the new players such as Richie Rees, Jason Spice and Paul Tito to get to know the rest of the squad, said Young.
We hadnt been away for a few years and we felt it was important for us to bond as a squad and you certainly get that when you spend 24 hours a day together.
Its was a very hard rugby trip but the new players fitted in well and it was a massive exercise for them.
The facilities at the University of Limerick campus were excellent. Munster use it as a key base, and having Astroturf and 3G pitches meant we could train in any weather, which was very important especially when you consider the type of weather weve had this summer.
The first sessions started in the early morning with training carrying on through the day and in to the early evening, which really tested the players.
Weve certainly did more there in a week that we would have at our Hensol Training centre, added Young.
We started at 7.00am with conditioning in the morning and then rugby in the afternoon and evenings. Obviously we trained with contact but I wouldnt say was full on.
Weve also had the chance to work on moves and set pieces. There was no need for a curfews as the boys have been shattered after such gruelling exercises.
Having said that, everyone enjoyed it, its was also good for the youngsters who have graduated through the academy to get to know the senior players a bit better and develop their game.
The whole squad are determined to build on what we achieved last year but the proof will be in the pudding and were all looking forward to the new season.
The Blues have also been boosted by the news that hospitality boxes and season ticket sales have been strong again this season.
Weve sold all available Hospitality Boxes at the Arms Park for the 2007/08 season which is great news, said Tina Tew, Sales and Marketing Director for the Cardiff Blues.
Season tickets have also been very strong with over 80% of our season ticket holders already renewing. Sales have been especially good amongst the junior members with under 18s being able to purchase tickets for only £30 for the whole season. We are confident that we will pass last seasons target.
Our activities around the region visiting Party Ponty, the Tesco Kids Festival and the Royal Welsh Show have proved to be very popular and everyone is looking forward to our Family Fun Day next Sunday. (5 August)
We enjoyed fantastic support last season demonstrated when we had a record crowd for a Welsh region when we played Leicester in the Millennium Stadium. We also had the highest crowds for the Heineken Cup and EDF Energy Cup competitions.
The growth in attendances at matches has been hugely encouraging. We had average attendances of over 9,300 last year which is again an increase on what it was the previous season, added Tew.