With no morning session, I had a bit of lie in until about 8am and headed down for breakfast an hour later. It was quiet as the players either weren’t bothering or had been down before I got there.
Breakfast was more of a leisurely affair, as there was no rush to head up to the training ground.
Time flies when you’re out here and the down-time soon goes, so after having a chat with Colin and the Chairman at the table, I headed back upstairs to chill in my room for a bit and to write up Lewis Alessandra’s interview, which I carried out the night before.
I must admit, I’m ever so slightly addicted to Twitter and Facebook, so I used the time to have a look at what was going on in the world and to catch up on the football news from across the leagues, as well as catching up with the family.
Rather boringly, I also caught up on some much needed sleep until it was time for training, which again started promptly at 4.45pm.
In the car on the way up the hill, the monitor was showing temperatures of a scorching 28 degrees. Oh, and I should mention that Colin has now worked out how to release the “hand-brake” which doesn’t exist (yay!)... It’s feet on the clutch and the brake at the same time, while pushing a release button to the side of him.
Anyway, before the players gathered to get their instructions for the session, they all posed for their ‘Squad of 2015-16 Team Rochdale’ photo, which you can see on the Dale Wall.
As Kev lead the players out on their warm-up run, Joe Raff, as usual, was his upbeat self, and the Gaffer shouted that he wanted everyone to have Raff’s ‘I love football smile’ – it worked as the group couldn’t help but laugh as Raff gave them all the typical footballing gee up of ‘Come on lads, let’s do this!’
After missing yesterday’s session, Hendo and Lewis were back involved, while Ash is still struggling with his foot problem.
The session started with a fartlek phase play similar to the other day, followed by small sided games on the full size pitch. The players were split into three groups for the games:
Team 1: Josh, Olly, Jim, Rosey, Lundy, Jamie, Lewis and Hendo
Team 2: Johny, Andy, BBM, Scott, Callum, Billy, Donal and Calvin
Team 3: Steve, Rhys, Joe Raff, TK, James, RNL, Peter V, Joe Bunney and Nyal Bell
As I’ve mentioned the last few days, these sessions are all about the players being comfortable, both in and out possession. It was another non-stop, high energy session, and the lads definitely put a shift in!
As usual, tea followed at 8pm and it was a rather subdued affair. I reckon the week is starting to take its toll on the players. I was slightly late in arriving at the dining room after leaving T3 a little bit later than normal. There were no seats left for me at the staff table so I planked myself in beside Billy, Nyal, Scott and Lundy. Lundy was getting a bit of stick for his eating habits – he prefers lobster and swordfish to your normal sort of grub, apparently.
Like every other night, it was back to my room to get the latest interview online, which happened to be Joe Bunney and then it was off to sleep shortly after midnight, while looking forward to day five.