Day 1 - Thursday 3rd July 2014
Once again I will be bringing you my daily diary from our summer training camp, which for the second year will take place at the T3 Complex in La Caletta, Tenerife. In addition to my daily diaries I understand that I will be expanding in to the social media network and doing regular Tweets, Leighanne has entrusted me with the log in details and subject to connections I will look to get on Twitter and bring you snippets of the diary.
As with last year I will provide you with a list of characters but I'm going to try and stick to one name per person as it got a little bit drawn out last year and I forgot who was called what. There will be one exception to this and that will be Jack, I'm sure that the will annoy me at regular intervals to the point of premeditated murder and therefore I will not be able to refer to him as just Jack when annoying little wap and other such descriptions are on the tip of my finger. Bless.
Which brings me nicely to the following: I also intend to use the word "bless" quite a bit on this trip as I'd forgotten what a powerful and descriptive word this can be. There are those of you out there who may believe that the word "bless" comes from the bible, this is simply not true, there is a word in the bible that looks like bless but the word "bless" in its truest form, was in fact first scripted by Mrs G, who is World renowned in the NHS area of Macclesfield for the scripting and introduction of the word and is solely responsible for its inclusion in the Oxford English Dictionary. Having invented the word Mrs G has become the World’s leading exponent of its use and absolutely amazes everyone with its universal meaning based on expert timing delivery and accompanying facial expressions. Many have tried to mimic this world renowned expert but all have failed miserably. Men have been reduced to tears when it's delivered with aggression and admonishment but on the other hand the timing and delivery of a sympathetic has brought comfort to so many. There is also the sarcastic delivery, the inevitable delivery and the humorous delivery to mention just a few more, but it is an art to be admired. Over the course of the next week our Jack is likely to exfoliate every interpretation of Mrs G's bless that she ever delivered. I'm now just wondering what sort if bless I will get when she reads this, hopefully it won't be a vengeful bless but it will be a nice to have you home loving and welcoming bless. Now if this paragraph doesn't set the tone for my diaries I don't know what will.
My plan this year is to try and compile the daily diary on my i-pad as I think it will be easier to carry around and just open up and do a couple of paragraphs at different times of the day, including down at the training ground. I also find that the keyboard on the i-pad is a bit more conducive to my one fingered turbo typing than the keyboard on my laptop.
This year’s trip is about a week earlier than last year and we were back to going from Manchester having gone out of Leeds/Bradford last year. This year’s flight was also later in the day and we've had the players at the airport for very early departures, this year we weren't due to fly until 2.30pm and the lads were due to meet in T1 at 12.15pm, so it was a leisurely start to the day. Mrs G had gone off at 7am to bless a few patients in the NHS so I was left to do my own packing, which is not a good idea. I forgot my socks and undies last time I was left in charge. My Dad dropped me off at the airport and I met up with the rest of the party.
There are 37 players, staff, officials and the gaffer’s Dad on this year’s trip. There are eight debutants to this trip - Callum Camps, who was due to come last year but was taken ill at the last minute, Andrew Cannon, ex apprentice and now first year professional, Jonathan Diba Musangu, new first year scholar, new signings Jack Muldoon and Sean McGinty, Matt Done who hadn't re-signed in time to come last year, trialist Cameron Park, and last but by no means least, Kevin Gibbins (great lad but like me he likes his name spelt correctly, his with an I not an O), who has taken over as a fitness and conditioning coach. Kevin was with the club as a scholar a few years ago but returned to work as sports scientist with the youth team last year and has now moved up to the first team. I think the main point here is that we have so many players who have already done this trip with us and we are as well prepared, if not better prepared than we were last year and to have so many contracted players on board so early hopefully bodes well because I’m sure it helped us last year.
We were again booked on with Jet2 and just like last year Jason came to greet us and see us through check in. I can't thank Jason and his team enough for their fast and efficient check in service with all our own bags and extra kit bags, when we haven't been with Jet2 some other airlines have been very trying in the past. Jason and his team got us all through in about 15 minutes and we were on our way to security before 12.30. I think Scott took my weight restrictions too seriously as he had removed all the facial hair that he had been cultivating for months. Security was very busy with the unused stretching back in to the main hall, there seemed a lot of children about and I thought the schools hadn't broken up yet. Once I’d got through security I had a quiet coffee and a sandwich before it was time to go to the boarding gate.
I knew this flight was going to drag when I realised my seat was one of the three that was also housing our Jack and the flights going to drag was confirmed by the pilot who came on the PA and told us that the flight down to Tenerife would be four and a half hours today and then said why it's going to be that long I'm not sure? My thoughts were, "well if he doesn't know that's a bit of a worry and I would prefer you didn't tell us and phoned a friend rather than ask the audience.” The flight dragging theory didn't abate as we started to taxi to the runway with George Michael singing Careless Whisper on the aircrafts inflight "entertainment".
So, what do you do on a four and a half flight cramped up in a corner with no cardboard inflight meal to not look forward to, well, you make sure your i-phone is turned off, you get out your i-pod and put some music on and you get out your i-pad and either play some games on it or type some drivel, parts of which no one will really understand or know why you typed it in the first place. Oh how we've come to rely on the iii's.
I've just noticed Beechy's got a girls’ watch on! £2, from Aldi, apparently! Spare a thought for those players that are a little taller than Jamie (bless him, sympathetic size bless) which is all of them, but I'm thinking more of the Sean's, Peter, Rhys players whose ears are unlikely to get cold with their knee caps round them to keep them warm. We're scheduled to land around 7pm UK time not sure what the local time will be but I'm fed up of typing now and I got a new Patrick Robinson on my Kindle for Father's Day so I'm going to have a read of that, catch you later for an update.
Update and in flight thoughts: Beechy believes that his £2 ladies watch should be waterproof, for two quid Beechy, really. Our Jack got a book out, AK couldn't believe that it hadn't got pictures in it while I was surprised he was reading it and not colouring it in. To prove I was listening to the emergency instructions my mind wandered on the flight and I started to think about the bit regarding the life jacket and what not to do until instructed by a member if staff, my thoughts were that they didn't tell you what to do if the staff had either not survived, or bottled it ?
The flight was ten minutes ahead of schedule and we touched down dead on 7pm, which locally is the same as the UK. The ground staff were quite efficient and we were through in no time at all and were met by our tour organiser Hobbo. I got my hire car while the lads and the staff packed everything on to the coach and by 8pm we were all in the hotel reception.
Hobbo had advised us that the hotel was full (all come to see us) but they had a double bedroomed suite with twin beds in both bedrooms and a few little extras and if we could find four players to give up their twin rooms the hotel would have a two more rooms that they could let, at this point Josh, Jack, Cameron and Tanz came back in to reception and all four were well up for the swap which we did straight away. There were a few other changes to make, the Gell Twins, Tony and Steve were not happy with their room and managed to sneak one of the rooms given up by the lads now in the suite. Thorpey and Gaz swapped with Fradders and Kev so they could be as close to the treatment room as possible and this was the best option. Finally, we got Jack moved to the ground floor so he hasn't got far to track with the laundry.
The lads got settled in and we got the kit and equipment bags stored away ready for taking up to the training camp first thing in the morning. The dining room was open and Scott didn't need to be invited to help himself while the other lads waited outside, he’s a growing lad. After dinner the Gaffer held a brief meeting in the team room, he didn't invite me as he thinks I’m nosey but I went anyway as I am nosey but I need material for this diary. The gaffer set out his early thoughts on pre-season training so far, which was interesting when he analysed what 1000meters means in a game of football and the work you need to put in to achieve that when tracking a midfield opponent. The Gaffer went on to explain how everyone now would need to sacrifice to be able to achieve, bless (tough bless). The Gaffer finished by laying out the plans for day one along with treatment times and laundry arrangements.
After the meeting I hiked it up to the Penthouse Suite with Josh just to see what they had got. It is quite spacious, two bedrooms with twins in each, one set of twins has been pushed together to make a double, hopefully Josh and or Jack will put some distance between these before they go to but hey, bless (affectionate bless). The suite has two bathrooms and a large living/ kitchen area but the outside is probably the best bit as it has a sun trap top but with loungers and parasols as well as dining tables and chairs and sun sofas, it also has an outside shower and over looks the pool on one side and the sea on the other. This should be really good for the afternoon rest, relax and recover for the lads. I did offer to tuck Tanz in as I left but he politely refused, not PC, bless.
I returned to my room to sort the sleeping arrangements out in my room. Last year I felt the mattress was a little hard for my liking and so I used the mattress off the spare twin bed and doubled it up with my own, so this year I did the same. I gave Mrs G a quick call to let her know we had arrived safely and not to forget to cut the lawn, bless (brave bless). I then thought I would give Leighanne's instructions on how to Tweet on @officiallydale a try, with further instructions via text I managed to get one away. What I didn't realise once I'd sent the tweet was that my in box would explode with emails, wow bless (stunned bless).
All that remains for today is to download some photos and email these off to the club ready for tomorrow and then I can have a little read and just a smidgen of a lie in tomorrow. I hope this wifi works better than it did last year or we'll be getting a frustrated bless. Bless.
Cast of Characters
Jamie - Jamie Allen
BBM - Brian Barry-Murphy
Rhys - Rhys Bennett
Joe - Joseph Bunney
Callum - Callum Camps
Steve - Stephen Collis
Andy - Andrew Cannon
Jonny - Jonathan Diba Musangu
Doney - Matthew Done
George - George Donnelly
Ash - Ashley Eastham
Hendo - Ian Henderson
Bastien - Bastien Hery
Scott - Scott Hogan
Ollie - Oliver Lancashire
Josh - Joshua Lillis
Joel - Joel Logan
Lundy - Matthew Lund
Sean - Sean McGinty
Jack - Jack Muldoon
Cameron - Cameron Park
Raff - Joseph Rafferty
Rosey - Michael Rose
Tanz - Scott Tanser
Peter - Peter Vincenti
Beechy - Christopher Beech
Chairman - Christopher Dunphy
Tony - Tony Ellis
Fradders - Daniel Fradley
Kev - Kevin Gibbins
I or Me - Colin Garlick
Gaffer's Dad - Keith Hill Senior
Gaffer's Dad - Keith Hill Senior
AK - Andrew Kelly
Our Jack - Jack Northover
Gaz - Gary Thompson
Thorpey - Andrew Thorpe
Hobbo - Gary Hobson