Tenerife Day 5 Monday 7th July 2014
I made it to bed before midnight last night but didn't make much progress with my book as the heavy eyelids closed the day. I had my regular excursion to the little room in the wee hours of the morning and my morning was off to an earlier start than anticipated with a call just before 6.30.
There is a realisation that it's Monday morning and it's a necessary hurdle that needs to be got over to make it to Monday afternoon and the Tuesday beyond. Things have been quiet over the weekend in terms of emails with all offices shut down but you know there will be an avalanche on its way before you hit lunch time. So I'm up a little earlier than anticipated and on my way to breakfast notice that only Sean is in the treatment room where Gaz is preparing his feet for the morning session.
I comment to Thorpey that it seems quiet and he responds with this is quite normal as they start the week off full of energy and up and at ‘em approach but as the week goes on they at first start with 5 minutes extra in bed and then the following day it's 10 minutes and they opt for the extra mattress time as their bodies become more tired. To confirm what Thorpey tells me Joe arrives and I enquire as to how he is feeling and he's fairly honest with his reply and saves further energy by summing it up in one word “horrendous".
To further emphasise what Thorpey says when I enter the dining room in addition to the staff that are having their breakfast there's about a dozen players also in there, earlier in the week they had been and gone. Having witnessed the effort that the players have put in to the hard work required of them by the Gaffer and the other members of staff it is easy to understand how the week so far has taken its toll on their bodies.
There is some good news ahead for them as there will be some midweek training camp relief as they will get rest, relaxation and recovery time this afternoon, evening and tomorrow morning as there will be a break after this morning’s session and they will return tomorrow afternoon. I'm sure the players will use this time wisely because most of them were here last year and as well as realising this is 3R time they will also know it's the calm before the storm as they will get pushed again in the remaining training sessions of the training camp week.
I made my way up to the training ground in good time to watch the lads get ready and get weighed and there was some time for some idle chatter just to prove that the art of conversation isn't dead. I sneaked in on a conversation between the Gaffer and George about the upcoming second series of Ray Donavan on Sky Atlantic, I knew the Gaffer watched the first series because it was him who put me on to it, George obviously watches it and now the Gaffer shouldn't miss the second series, which starts later this month. It then became a bit of why don't you try this one and George suggested True Detective and we had a mini quiz about who starred in it and Peter won that one with Matthew McConaughey. I suggested Banshee, which no one seemed to know about and that has a second series starting tonight I think. This conversation had more than a little link with the question I had been to ask Rosey for a few days, I'd noticed he'd called or referred to Hendo AC "drama" and wondered why. Turns out that there is a HBO television production in the states call Entourage and in it is a character called Johnny Drama and Johnny has a brother who looks just like Hendo and that's where it comes from. If you don't know the program you’re going to be tempted to Google it and have a look for yourself, go you know you want to. I also managed to get a video of Ollie having a blister lanced on my i-pad, wonder how many hits that will get.
Back to the football and the Gaffer gathered the players around to explain the main part of the morning session, which was to be focused on possession and particularly possession under pressure. The pitch set up was quite simple, it was a 60 x 60 coned off area in the centre of the pitch to allow the teams to have active recovery on the outside of the playing area. The team were a 10 and a 9 and then split from there on a rotating basis between active inside the square and active recover outside the square. Andrew was given a white bib and he was a floater for whichever team was in possession inside the playing area, where it was 5 v 5. Team mates of the players were spaced around the outside of the square and there was one blue and one orange on each line of the square but this was split and coned in to two areas and each of these players could not encroach in to the others area, this meant the players inside the square had to be aware of where their team mates were positioned.
No goalkeepers involved in this session at all, they were away with Steve doing their own thing. The sets were four minutes each and you could see how this session was working as if you were in possession of the ball there was limited space for you to operate in and very little time on the ball because the team not in possession were closing you down and trying to get possession of the ball for their team. Andrew as floater made it in effect 6 v 5 in the middle. The session was quite pacey and even as an active recovery player you had to remain concentrated because you could be involved in the next pass if your team was in possession of the ball.
The session was sandwiched with Kevin's warm ups and warm down although the latter was actually taken by Fradders this time as Kevin was away checking out some equipment. There was also the customary ball work ahead of the main part of the session.
I had gone up to the main reception during part of the training session as I can get a Wi-Fi connection up there and I needed to send some emails and sort a few things out. As I went up I called in to the small pool where Gary was working with Jack and putting him through his paces, I also managed to get a short video of that, so it's who gets more hits now, Ollie's blister popping or Jacks swimming pool bopping ?.
Also while I was up at reception I spotted an unfamiliar face in a blue Filament top just like our and at first thought it might be a Dale supporter calling in to see how we were doing, he had obviously spotted my red Fila top and came across to say hello. It turned out that this was Maurice who is from Northern Ireland and is over here on holiday with his wife Margaret, which they do three or four times a year and he comes up to T3 regularly when he's over here to see who is training at the facility.
I noticed his badge is in fact a Carlisle United badge and he's noticed my Rochdale badge, he's a bit resigned at their relegation and was complimentary about our promotion, I rather unnecessarily suggested we'd taken his teams place, bless (cocky bless) and he was quite magnanimous with my comment. It turns out that his brother came over to England 40 years ago or so and on his first visit here, when it got to the Saturday afternoon he asked his brother who the local team was that they could go and watch and off to Carlisle United they went and he's followed them ever since. He told me he is also a referee and still referees each weekend and offered to referee one of our games, he's got to be better than Beechy.
After my little chat with Maurice I returned to the pitch to catch the end of the session and the warm down. The Gaffer confirmed the rest, relaxation and recovery time would be between now and 4 pm tomorrow when he expected everyone to have used the time wisely and be ready to go again at that session. I sat around for a while and watched a few of the players get some treatment from Gaz, meanwhile Thorpey had been setting out a course for Scott and they proceeded to do some work together, it was hard sat in the shade watching it and looked a lot harder for Scott in the sun but he did very well. I stopped off at the gym on my way back and had an hour of light exercise in there to try and ease my conscience, BBM came in and we did a little exercising together, he explained he needed to warm down gently after each session and how he did this in the hour after training had a big bearing on how he felt later. Also while I was exercising I noticed Fradders doing his own stuff on the track and as I went to leave Kevin came in to do some work, these boys never stop. As I made my way to the room I noticed a few of the players and staff were poolside, Tony, Steve, Andrew, Joe, Rhys and I think it was Hendo had already started to use their time wisely. I thought I would catch up on some typing of the diary and respond to a few emails before our late lunch.
The staff had agreed to meet in reception at 3pm and have a lunch together away from the hotel, this would give us some time away from the players as, and probably more importantly give the players some time to themselves. We were to go to a restaurant along the seafront that was known to the Gaffer and BBM who have both been here on holiday. 3pm was a bit weird for me as it's too late for dinner and too early for tea but, the walk to the restaurant was pleasant but it was nearer 30 minutes away than 15. Not surprisingly to me the restaurant wasn't busy at this time and you know the answer to the question you are about to ask but you ask it anyway, " do you have a table for fourteen please ? " at this point the owner can't believe his luck and suddenly you feel as though you have royal blood.
The restaurant was set overlooking the beach under very large parasol type looking tented mini village and some of the victims were going about their business swimming in their tanks, Gaz and Fradders had the biggest king prawns I had ever seen and believe me I've seen some king prawns in my time. The service was very good, the food was first class and the company was good and we created our own atmosphere in the restaurant. I'm pretty sure we largely in the main stayed away from football, our conversations were another proof that once again the art of conversation isn't dead and a few of us older ones had conversations that are really quite concerning.
I think it all started with prawns and the question was asked, How ? This then lead to the question do you remember the program How and who were the presenters, Gaz, sad man that he is came up with Jack Hargreaves, Fred Dineage, Jon Miller and who can forget Bunty James. The program ran in the sixties and in fact started in 1966 and ran for 250 episodes until 1981, it posed questions on all manner of subjects and only finished when Southern Television lost its franchise. Told you it's not just an adventure it's an education. Gaz continued to show just how sad he is as the questions of no importance whatsoever started to flow, not only did Gaz know that Tony Curtis and Roger Moore were the persuaders but he gave us the make and model of the sporty cars that they drove. Boy did we cover some garbage from catch phrases of game show hosts over the years such as "c'mon down" from the Price is Right to "nice to see yer, to see yer nice". Michael Barrymore got a mention with his catchphrase "alright at the back", as well as top, middle or bottom from his game show Strike it Lucky. Other drivel that we covered was Anne Aston on The Golden Shot, hosted by Bob Monkhouse at first and later by Norman "roses grow on you" Vaughan and Charlie Williams, cannot mention this one without referring to Bernie the Bolt.
The gibberish was almost endless and had the older ones of us in raptures of memories and the younger ones wondering what the hell we were going on about. I did learn one vital lesson and that is do not play Trivial Pursuit against Gaz, he is just full of nonsense. After our meal I went back to the hotel with AK and did some email catch ups and some reading. I did notice that there wasn't a player in sight around the hotel reception, lounge or pool and assumed they had made best use of their recovery time. I ventured out around 9pm to give Jack my laundry, I didn't get an answer from his room and tried the dining room, no sign of Jack but I did run in to Bastien, Joel and Rhys and they appeared to have had a good rest and Rhys told me that he had done the decent thing and collected money from the white team to satisfy the forfeit of buying the blue team a bottle of champagne from the football challenge the day before. I text Jack and he was actually on his back balcony so I called in to drop my kit off. Jack was being harassed by some children at the hotel, apparently they were doing a treasure hunt game and needed a photo and Jack obliged them but they then asked him what the J on his kit stood for and now they kept calling his name while he was out reading, this might help him understand what annoying is now, bless (vengeful bless).
I finished my evening by typing up the rest of my diary while listening to Sky News, one of the stories didn't give me much comfort for our flight back to the UK on Thursday, Spanish air authorities are investigating a near miss at Barcelona on Saturday when a pilot had to abort his landing as another plane taxied across the runway, Sky News didn't leave it there but went on to report that the deadliest accident in aviation history occurred in 1977 when 583 people were killed in a crash at? Tenerife airport. Goodnight.