Southampton FC spent its offseason on the road training and preparing for a turnaround

Adversity is a relative term – it can mean a lot of different things to a lot of different people. But at its core it is omnipresent, an inescapable part of life. What separates those who ultimately succeed is how they face down that adversity and learn from it instead of shying away from it.

Last year Southampton faced adversity all year-long before a strong finish helped them out of the relegation zone,finishing 17th in the league. Historic underdogs, the Saints, known as a hardworking team that could play attractive football and thrive due to their world class academy, suddenly found themselves at a crossroads. So, they went to work this past offseason with an emphasis on being able to adapt in any environment; leaving no door open for excuses.



Southampton FC players spent much of the summer training throughout Asia preparing for the 2018-19 campaign

To prepare for all conditions and the notion of getting comfortable when uncomfortable, the Saints spent two weeks overseas in China and played friendlies in the cities of Kunshan and Xuzhou. During the international camp, Under Armour caught up with a few of the players as they trained ahead of the 2018-19 Premier League season to see how they were taking lessons learned from a tough previous campaign to climb back as one of the most exciting teams in English football. The overall lesson was willpower, a buzzword that was heard over and over in training.


"Mentally, when you're drained and tired, it's hardest to perform-at the end of the day you don't make it as a professional footballer from running, you make it with the decisions you make on the pitch."

Sam McQueen, left back

The Saints trained hard, on the pitch and in the weight room, to prepare themselves for the long campaign ahead. Last year, taking 7 points of 12 from their last four games, helping each other instead of pointing fingers, willing themselves over the hump, the players are using the last-gasp end-of-season bump as a springboard to bigger and better things this season.


"I always try to stay determined in what I do, have that willpower to prove to myself that I can do it and get better each day."

Josh Sims, winger

The Saints embarked on their 2018-19 Premier League campaign this past Sunday, the start of a grueling ten months with 38 league fixtures plus domestic cups, the season is a long one, and it will test even the strongest-willed athletes. Next up is the season's first game on the road against Everton on August 18. A match that will put all of the Saints’ offseason training in China and to the test. But Southampton has been putting in the work all summer, and they are ready to march on.