Stowell Talks Austria
Leicester City first team and goalkeeping coach Mike Stowell has 12 seasons of experience behind him at the club and he's been speaking about how invaluable our week in Austria has been.
The 52 year old opened up about his role at the club, and his working relationship with manager Craig Shakespeare and he felt that there was plenty to be positive about moving forward.
Speaking to lcfc.com with our pre season campaign well underway, Stowell explained.
'For me, it`s the most important week of pre-season. We keep them here and do double sessions, they`re away, and there are no distractions. It`s really hard work in good conditions and we get some invaluable work out of them. It was Nigel Pearson who brought it in because, normally in pre-season, you go away and play games. The games are a bit of a distraction because they`re not competitive games and they take away training time. Whereas this is a training camp and, when I say training camp, we get up early in the morning, we feed them and we look after them all through the day. For 24 hours a day, we`re doing something for the lads and it is great bonding for them to be here.'
With Leicester's spirit well known and often spoken about, especially during our run to the Championship title, Premier League survival and then the Premier League title itself, with a little bit of heartbreak along the way we've had a good number of season's on the trot.
'The lads are as honest as the day is long. This bunch of lads that we have here are great. Even when they`re stiff and you get them out in the afternoon, like we have at 5pm tonight, they`re still smashing balls around and chasing each other. They`ve definitely got sharper and fitter but they came back in great condition. Even the internationals who have just joined us are in the full flow so it`s been a really valuable week.'
With Stowell's bike rides always featuring prominantly during our time in Austria, Stowell joked he even takes the backroom boys out for separate 15 mile sessions as well as in his mind the best way to get such a work ethic out of the players is for the coaches to share a similar ethos and for the players themselves to see that.
'I do a traditional one with the players which I did yesterday. I don`t tell them everywhere they`re going, I`m the only person who knows so they can`t sneak off and go back. I always find a hill and, in Austria there is quite a few hills, so like today I`ve been out with the staff and taken them on a 25 mile bike ride to introduce them to it. It`s a mind-set and everyone needs that mind-set.'
Discussing his time at the club and his role, that has seen him involved in both darker moments and the highlights, he went on to say.
'Over the last six or seven years, I`ve been down as first team and goalkeeper coach, so I take set pieces, defending and shooting sessions. I enjoy the whole role. Football is football, it`s fantastic and I have a good rapport with the players. Over the years, I`ve been stepping into the management side and with Shakespeare, he values our opinions. I work with them all day; I`m refereeing and coaching and it is invaluable to see these players. Shakespeare`s bubbly, he`s bright and we have to be like that. He doesn`t get too excited when we win and he doesn`t get too down when we lose. But he is very, very competitive underneath that nice demeanour. He is a very, very tough character.'
Looking ahead to the coming campaign, Stowell also believes there are more stories to be told by Leicester as we build on what we've achieved in recent times.
'Leicester City is Leicester City, there is never a dull moment. This is my 13th season here now, it`s just a pleasure to be here. The people around here, the staff we have created, the players...it`s been a journey. Believe it or not, I think we`ve got more in us. There are journeys to be had and more stories to be told and I hope we`re going to be here and be a part of it over the next 13 years.'