Malaga get back down to business


The players back on the pitch at La Rosaleda on Monday. / Francis Silva

  • Juan Ramón Muñiz's side can now turn over a new page as the club prepare for a campaign in the second division

Having completed medical examinations and physical tests on Friday and Saturday, Malaga's players officially started pre-season preparations on Monday, with new coach Juan Ramón Muñiz there to oversee proceedings at the current training base next to La Rosaleda stadium.

A total of 25 players participated on the first day, including newcomer Badr Boulahroud, a Moroccan midfielder who completed a move from Rabat side Fath Union Sporton Friday.

Players took it in turns to take to the field, with sessions including some light running, reflex exercises and some work with the ball, as they readied themselves for some gruelling tests ahead of the new season.

The squad present was light in attack with strikers Youssef En-Nesyri and Michael Santos yet to return. En-Nesyri featured at the World Cup for Morocco, while Santos' loan spell at Sporting Gijón was extended to 10 June after the Asturian side reached the La Liga play-offs.

Goalkeeper Cenk Gönen was another absentee. The Turkey international has returned to his home country for a scan to check on his recovery from a shoulder injury suffered midway through last season. His place was filled this week by youngster Álvaro Fernández.

Double sessions

Following his first meeting with the players, coach Muñiz is certainly putting his new players to the test with 12 sessions in the first week alone. From Monday through until this Sunday, the players have double sessions scheduled every day (at 9am and 7pm) except on Wednesday and Saturday.

Twenty-five players in total were present on the opening day of training: goalkeepers Andrés Prieto, Álvaro Fernández, Kellyan; defenders Roberto Rosales, Cifu, Miguel Torres, Ignasi Miquel, Bakary Koné, Diego González, Luis Hernández, Luis Muñoz, Mikel, Federico Ricca, Juankar; and midfielders Keko, Álex Mula, Javi Ontiveros, Mehdi Lacen, José Recio, Adrián, Badr Boulahroud, Manuel Iturra, Esteban Rolón, Juanpi and Adnane Tighadouini.

However, it is highly unlikely that these 25 players will be anywhere close to the group that will start the season.