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Thursday, July 13, 2017
Butterfield & Walsall Begin Pre-Season Training

The gruelling Cassius Camps, in the Lake District, is how Milan Butterfield and his Walsall teammates spent the first part of this week ramping up their preparations for the new season.

Three relentless days in Cumbria saw each and every player pushed to their physical and mental limits in a series of endurance based fitness challenges.

But this camp was about so much more than simply getting the players in shape ahead of the new campaign.

The aim of Cassius – according to founder Philip Ercolano – is to build relationships and team bonds that usually take years to form.

It is all about working together to overcome mental barriers and achieve things you never thought were possible.

And it really is amazing to see.

On the first night the players were eased in gently with series of complex puzzles designed to improve communication.

It was the perfect way to allow the new signings and younger players to integrate into the group.

And then on Monday, the ante was upped as the players were pushed to breaking point in military style boot camp.

After a gruelling ‘warm-up’ the squad was split into groups of defenders, midfielders and strikers – with the goalkeepers joining the forwards. Placed in front of them was an obstacle course designed to brutally target every area of the body.

Whether it was lifting logs, tipping tyres or carrying bags of stand – the course’s aim was to push you to the point where you simply had to stop.

Then once you were there, it was up to your teammates to keep you going and get you over the finishing line.

On Tuesday though it was back to concurring fears with the task to abseil down a gigantic rock face. There were anxious faces throughout the entire group - with Butterfield particularly nervous.

But with his team mates right behind him, the Bermudian got himself over the steep ledge and down the mountain.

It was an incredible effort from the players who had all pushed themselves further than they ever thought possible.

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