Day three in Holland - brought to you by Alistair Linden, the club's Education Officer...
I am sitting watching the last rivulets of rain run down the window of my room. We awoke this morning to dark clouds that wept rain for most of the morning onto the flat lands of Brabant. Fortunately a later start was planned for today. Following a full day of exertions yesterday consisting of a training match against Wolves and then a late afternoon training session the lads were visibly exhausted at dinner and they all quietly snuck of to bed sensibly early.
As if blessed with the gift of foresight Noah Ashcroft predicted the flood and decreed we stay in the Ark until the worst had passed. The time was used productively as aches were eased, strains were iced and the 1st Year scholars completed their LFE Induction Units.
Divided into 2 squads the team then sallied forth to train and play a structured game until lunch with renewed enthusiasm. They are visibly enjoying the trip and engaging fully in this unique learning opportunity. This afternoon promises clear skies and the prognosis is for warm sunny weather until the end of the trip. Break out the Amber Solaire!
I have written extensively about the characters of the management team working here in Holland. One member who has had scant coverage is resident Sports Scientist Callum (TinTin) Roberts. Committed, earnest and diligent he has yet to put a foot wrong for you narrator to highlight his failings. However he has put himself forward as ‘Milk Monitor’. This could be the opening I have been waiting for.
Those of us old enough to remember when you received a third of a pint of milk daily in school will also recall a young Education Minister called Margaret Thatcher in the 1970’s stopping this State gift. Being class Milk Monitor was a coveted position as it was one of trust and allowed you out of lessons early to collect the milk. Thus Mr Roberts has risen to such a position and he now treks to the EMTE supermarket to procure supplies and he is allowed out of class early to serve the milk. Captain Ashcroft has given him a badge to wear.
This afternoon’s training was a series of high intensity sessions as we prepare for the arrival of the guest coaches tomorrow. Such was the enthusiasm that our LFE Link Officer Simon Williams joined in as did our Dutch link officer Ricardo. Lofty Brown was not to left on the bench and was soon dashing about with some vim, vigour and no little amount of skill. As time progressed and weariness encroached he gradually resembled a dyspraxic giraffe by the end and we have the pictures to prove it.
Whilst the tableau unfolded Monitor Roberts stood impassively clearly engrossed lactose related issues. Captain Ashcroft gesticulated and instructed, Scoop Edwards scribbled notes frantically and Adam (Squiffy) Brown accidently shot 15 pictures of his foot as he mishandled Danny’s camera. Yours truly as befits my seniority, in years that is, quietly observed the unfolding vignette and smiled. It’s been a good day.
Beste wensen uit Holland