Alouettes ditch school bus rides to practice, look forward to charter flightsAlouettes ditch school bus rides to practice, look forward to charter flights

No more school buses for Montreal Alouettes

MONTREAL — There will be no more travelling to practice in yellow school buses for the Montreal Alouettes.

The CFL club practised this week on a soccer field a five-minute walk from their locker-rooms at Olympic Stadium and are expected to spend most of the summer practising indoors at the stadium.

Coach Jacques Chapdelaine said details of the new arrangement should be announced next week.

In recent seasons, the Alouettes practised at Hebert Stadium, a more-than 15-minute bus ride away, wasting precious time.

Chapdelaine said it will help “psychologically, if nothing else, coming here instead of riding a bus to practice, where the mindset or the thought process can go all over the place.

“Now we’re just coming to work in a more efficient way. We’re able to have a little more time around the field, so if we want to get some extra work we can do that as well.”

Not having a fixed training facility didn’t seem to hurt when they were one of the league’s top teams in the 2000s, but cutting the bus rides should help a team that missed the playoffs the last two years.

“As a professional it should make no difference,” cautioned defensive end John Bowman.

An even bigger advantage for Montreal this season will be travelling on charter flights. The team signed a three-year sponsorship deal in May with Nolinor Aviation to take them to and from all away games except one in Ottawa. A plane painted in team colours was fitted to carry the entire squad, staff and equipment.

“I think it’ll help tremendously,” said quarterback Darian Durant. “When you play a late game on the west coast, now you have to stay the night, you have to get up and check into an airport and, by the time you fly back, it’s one o’clock the next day.

“Being able to leave directly after the game, come back and get some rest, now you can get back to work. You can take care of your body. Get in the film room and see what’s going on. So it’s definitely going to give us a head start in our preparation going into the next week, especially with a short week.”

Bill Beacon, The Canadian Press


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