Day three started in the same way as day two so there’s no point in boring you with the details.
As usual the Management and staff were just about to head off up to training when I arrived in the dining room at around 7.30am, but this time there were a few players there as well.
Saturday had been a tough day for the lads and there was no surprise that there were a few tired faces appearing in a steady stream. I left at 8am to walk up the hill with Jack, who has taken me under his wing. His ‘Come on, let’s go, Leighanne-io’ call can be heard at least ten times a day, but I wouldn’t have any other way.
The walk with Jack is often interesting and the existence of ants was firmly on his mind. Watching them running about all over the pavement, he wanted to know how many miles or kilometres they covered every day and if they ever reached their destinations. Sadly, I couldn’t offer much insight.
The sun was yet to rise fully as we set off and I managed to get a cracking a photo of the sun rising up over the mountains in front us. It was so good in fact that I thought I’d share it with you all on Twitter.
When we got up there, the staff as usual were hard at work setting up for the lads arriving. Kevin Gibbins and Dan Fradley were sorting out the shakes and filling up the individual water bottles. They also help set out the pitch for the warm ups, as well as assisting in all the sessions. In addition they are monitoring and analysing all the information to feed back to the Gaffer, the staff and of course the players, as mentioned by Fradders in his interview on Saturday. If you’ve yet to watch it, click HERE to access is on our YouTube channel.
Likewise, Thorpey and Gaz are in the treatment room long before the sessions start and they are putting protective bandaging and strapping on, as well as giving rubs. They are on hand throughout the session if needed or are taking the injured player(s) for their separate treatment requirements. Today (Sunday) they were with three players – Ian Henderson, Lewis Alessandra and Ash Eastham, who weren’t able to take part in the main session. Hendo was suffering from severe blisters, while Lewis had been left out of the session by the Gaffer to prevent him picking a fatigue injury. Ash on the other hand is suffering from a foot problem – the physios reckon it’s plantar fasciitis, which results in pain in the heel and bottom of the foot.
The session took place across the two pitches, with a 4v4 scenario on the full sized pitch and the same again on the smaller pitch. The principles of the two were the same, though. On the full sized pitch it was about creating a 1v1 scenario, both in the defensive and attacking sense, almost like a game of counter attacking, if you like. The small session was more possession based, managing the ball both in and out of possession. It was also about creating overloads within the team and trying to exploit spaces. These were going on simultaneously and on a rotation basis, and as soon as the whistle blew, the teams would swap pitches. This went on for quite some time, with the lads working hard throughout.
You can watch footage from the small session on Dale PlayerHD.
Today was a really tough day for the players and like yesterday, the Gaffer was extremely pleased with he had saw and uttered the words the players had all been for. He announced that the players would get the afternoon and Monday morning off.
With the players having a bit of downtime for the next 16 hours or so, I took the opportunity to grab and quick chat with Calvin and Lewis to make sure I had plenty of content to upload to the website.
As usual, lunch followed training.
With no afternoon session, Jack suggested that we go for a little stroll – it wasn’t. Two hours later and a little sunburnt, we arrived back at the hotel – I shouldn’t complain though as it was lovely to get out and about and see a bit of Tenerife. Once I got back I grabbed a quick nap before doing a bit more for the website.
Tea followed at 8pm but there weren’t many bodies there. They had probably come down earlier as there was no set time for eating with the players having a ‘free’ afternoon.
The group of 30 plus was usually spread over three long tables and couple of fours, but this evening we only needed one as myself, Colin, Jack the Kitman, Gaz and Thorpey joined Donal, Scott and Nyal. Lewis and Andy Cannon came down a bit later and joined us. It’s always good to have a chat with the new recruits since I’ll be pestering them during the season for an interview.
Shortly after tea, we bumped into Andrew Kelly, the Chairman, the Gaffer and Beechy. Conversation soon turned to what we’d do in life if we weren’t doing what we were doing now - it was light hearted and got us all thinking. We could choose anything we wanted and a rock star, a pro golfer, a formula one driver, a pilot and a life saver were amongst the job roles being thrown out. I’ll let you try and work out who said what, although we will say that it was Jack who wanted to be an F1 driver.
As usual, after getting back to my room I phoned the family and finished off my latest review, which took me until just after midnight.
And that was that for day three in Tenerife.