Jul 3 2009 by Gordon Bannerman, Perthshire Advertiser Friday
KENNY Deuchar insists a training camp in Warwick beats Argentina.
The St Johnstone striker is lapping-up his first pre-season build-up.
And while soaring temperatures have posed a severe test to Perth players, Deuchar won’t be wilting.
He said: “We head for Warwick University on Monday and I’m looking forward to it. I know I’ll benefit from a full pre-season preparation.”
Qualified doctor Deuchar, who enjoyed his flirtation with soccer American style, recalls being floored by food poising soon after joining Real Salt Lake.
He said: “It was sub-zero and there was snow on the mountains so we headed to South America. That involved a three-hour flight to Dallas and then an 11-hour trip to Buenos Aires, topped by a four-hour coach trip to Rosario.
“We were training in 100 degrees. It’s not that hot here and in Scotland you make the most of this sort of weather.
“I caught food poisoning from eggs or milk and was laid low for a few days. I actually lost around a stone. Believe me, it wasn’t nice.
“I can’t say I enjoyed the Argentina trip. It sounded good on the face of it. South American wasn’t a place I thought I’d ever visit as a footballer.
“The facilities were great but it was a long haul and travelling nearly a day was hardly ideal for pre-season. It’s always intensive and it doesn’t much matter where you are.”
Summer signing Deuchar welcomed news that long-term casualty Andy Jackson was heading for Warwick with the squad. He resumed light training this week.
Deuchar, who has been given the go-ahead by the club to continue his medical work on Monday afternoons, formed a productive partnership with the youngster during his previous loan term.
The former Gretna and Hamilton attacker said: “Andy has had a difficult year with illness and a serious Achilles injury. But now he is on schedule for some pre-season games.
“Andy has what it takes to make an impact and score goals in the SPL and we formed a good partnership before. But there are a lot of good strikers here. There is real competition for places and that’s ideal.”
The striker welcomed news that West Brom had appointed Roberto di Matteo as manager, finally ending speculation that the Midlands club was plotting a move for Derek McInnes.
He said: “It’s good that the manager who signed me is still here. He was also the manager when I was here before. It is his team and we will benefit from the continuity.
“The vast majority know how the manager works and it would have been a huge challenge bringing in another manager with the SPL season so close. Everyone should be settled now as we head for Warwick and Northern Ireland.”
Ironically, McInnes sampled the Warwick uni facilities during his West Brom days.
While McInnes welcomed the return of Jackson to training, fellow home grown youngster Kevin Moon is still causing concern.
The midfielder impressed late in an injury plagued campaign and hoped his woes were behind him.
But McInnes revealed Moon had been sent back to a Leicester specialist for further sugar injections to the troubled groin area.
The manager said: “Mooner rested for much of the close season and he had been doing strengthening work. He showed he had the quality to make an impact in the SPL when he was fit to get a run of games late last season.”
“But Kevin has broken down at different times and he may head for Leicester again when we are at Warwick if that’s necessary. It is frustrating for him and for us but we are doing all we can to get to the root of things and resolve this.
“Andy is itching to get going again and deserves the reward for his hard work. We don’t want him breaking down.”
STRIKER Collin Samuel could experience a rush to face Motherwell on opening day. He looks set to be listed in the Trinidad and Tobago squad to face El Salvador at home just days before