OXFORD United’s players had a very different session of shooting practice yesterday as part of their stay at an army training camp.

The U’s spent time on a rifle range during their three-day trip to Gibraltar Barracks in Surrey, which ends today.

It is all part of a busy schedule, which has seen the players and staff take on a variety of activities on top of their normal training regime.

Manager Pep Clotet believes a lot of the qualities needed in the military translate to success on the pitch.

He said: “Everything is about preparation and teamwork, being able to make decisions under situations of stress.

“They have a huge amount of insight about stressful situations and a very strong set of values.

“I wanted the players to experience that for themselves – they also make decisions in a chaotic environment.

“We had a leadership activity yesterday where our boys were divided into groups and given different situations to work out how they would work together and how the opinions of everyone were valued.

“They solved a few different problems building things or being very creative. We had two really good hours.

“It takes time to learn that everyone can have some leadership abilities.”

Ryan Ledson was raring to get stuck in as soon as he heard about the camp.

“I couldn’t wait,” he said.

“I love all this team bonding and we’re getting to shoot the guns on the range. I love all that stuff.

“It’s not everyone’s cup of tea, but it’s good to get out of your comfort zone sometimes.”

The visit reinforced links between the U’s and the military, which have been strengthening for several years.

The barracks in Surrey has hosted sports teams before, most recently the England side preparing for the Women’s Rugby World Cup.

And a return for United to undergo a longer, more challenging stay next summer before pre-season is also believed to be a possibility.

A spokesman for the barracks said: “We are always keen to work with professional sports organisations because we are keen to learn from them.

“They have been a pleasure to have around.”

One player excused from the afternoon’s activities was John Mousinho, who returned home to spend time with his daughter, who was born on Monday.