It was early hours on Sunday morning that the RAFTTA team of nine, departed their units to meet at Stansted airport for 0600 hrs ready to embark to Budapest for some quality training and development.

The team included; WO Tony Stead, Sgt Daz Williams, Cpl Dave Berkon, Cpl Becky Evans, Cpl Keith Johnston, SAC(T) Matt Faulkner, SAC Gareth Halliwell, SAC Sanga Quamina and last but not least Plt Off Anth Barella. Coach William Maybanks from the Eger training camp met us at arrivals and took us to Eger from Budapest where we were accommodated.

Each day the training consisted of two intense sessions; 0900 – 1200 hrs and 1800 – 2100 hrs with a break in-between due to the intense heat during midday. Each session began with a warm up prior to training. Head coach Balasz Palosi and William Maybanks designated partners for some of the players and organised gruelling multi-ball sessions for others.

Throughout the week players worked on footwork exercises, technique and tactics and serving practice.  Most sessions involved one-to-one training, with each player receiving top class coaching to suit their individual needs, as well as professional sparring partners to develop their game.

Towards the end of the week players had the chance to play matches against the clubs players. This allowed the RAF team to put their improved skills into practice. Notably all the RAF players either won or were competitive against much stronger opposition. Indeed, against the experienced Hungarian players some players had shock wins.

The week was a huge success, giving inexperienced developing RAF players and the more advanced quality training which I would strongly recommend to any player whatever their standard is.

Special mention must go to Will Maybanks whose organisation of the teams from start to finish was outstanding and credit to the ETTA recommending the training on their website. The training routine was very demanding but all the players benefitted significantly and showed improvement by the end of the tour!

Written by Tony Stead (October 14, 2013)