Anthony Vasser/Houston Dynamo

Catching up with Giles Barnes

During a chat on HoustonDynamo.com, Dynamo president Chris Canetti announced that Giles Barnes would be back with the Dynamo in 2013. With the turn of the calendar in the books, we caught up with Barnes to talk about his off-season and his preparation for this coming season.

HoustonDynamo.com: How has your off-season been so far? What have you been up to?
Giles Barnes: The off-season has been very good. I've been traveling all over the UK to see my family and friends. My younger brother has had some time off as well so it's been nice chillen with him, as well as one of my oldest friends who just came back from Australia.

HD: What was the best present that you received this year?
GB: The best present I received was definitely the chance to spend as much time with my family as I have.

HD: What is your favorite Barnes holiday tradition?
GB: Well we don't really have a tradition at this time of year, I'm usually playing games or training, but we always spend Xmas morning together. So I suppose that's kind of a tradition.

HD: What are some ways that you stay in shape during the off-season?
GB: To be honest, in the offeseason I don't do a whole lot of training. I see it as a shut-down mode to rest your body and get it prepared as the season can be up to 50 games. I like to ride a bike and do little things to stay active and then use pre-season to get in top form. I don't like being a couch potato, so I've also done a little coaching, too. I'll definitely pick up the workouts after the new year.

HD: Are you able to shut down from soccer during the off-season or do you find yourself watching European games itching to get back on the field?
GB: No. It's been nice to spend Xmas and New Year properly with my family. I've not done so since I was 15 years old. We would always train and travel away so it's been real good to be here. I've watched a few games on TV but I'm definitely itching to get back over to Houston and begin training for the new season.

HD: How nice is it to have your contract situation sorted and know that you'll be back with the Dynamo for a full season in 2013?
GB: I was never in doubt that I wanted to come back. I've loved every second there and that's down to the fans, my team and the staff. I knew the staff also wanted me to come back it was just a case of tinkering with a few things and getting it signed. Then it was a no brainer..

HD: Have you set any personal goals yet for the 2013 season and, if so, what are they?
GB: As for personal targets, I keep them quite close to myself. But the targets I've set, I'm sure they willbenefit the team and hopefully help us win Cup next year.