Dale's Media Officer Leighanne Coyle brings you the low down on day 4 (Sunday) of day's pre-season trip to Tenerife...
Rest day. Two little words that were music to the ears, or, in our case, to the eyes.
After two gruelling sessions yesterday, I think it’s safe to say the players were close to breaking point both physically and mentally.
They had gone to bed last night expecting to train this morning and I’m sure there was a sigh of relief when a text message came through from Beechy at 7am to let them know that today would be a rest day.
Today was the chance to sleep, rest and recuperate, and reserve energy for the remainder of the time at the camp. Days like today are well-earned and well deserved. They are also very, very important. The first four sessions have been long, arduous and very demanding, and have asked a lot of the players, who have delivered in terms of commitment. But if the players are pushed too far then it can result in fatigue injuries. This is something the management staff are always mindful of and they’re excellent at striking a good balance.
Rest day doesn’t mean the players can go out gallivanting, it’s a day where they can receive extra treatment, or just simply put their feet up. The physios were again available all day and were kept busy with players visiting them for prevention treatments and rubs. There was also the option of a warm down session with Kev Gibbins up at the T3 facility, which a few of the players opted to take part in. They started off in the gym before heading into the swimming pool. You can see footage of the warm down session on Dale PlayerHD.
I, along with Colin, spent the whole morning at the T3. From my point of view, rest day is a chance for me to catch up. I, of course, don’t need to rest my weary legs, but the extra hours come in very handy in terms of allowing me to work on the content that has already been gathered. We used our free time wisely – Colin caught up with emails, while I uploaded the footage from yesterday onto Dale PlayerHD. When Kev arrived at 11.30 with 11 or so players, I was ready to film.
Beechy had also taken a walk up to the facility and tried his hand at a game of tennis, taking on Bailey. Now I say try because Bailey was victorious.
Afterwards, I heard nothing but excuses from Chris and I reckon that’s just because he’s a bad loser ;)
On the way to lunch I bumped into a very sleepy looking James Hooper who informed me that he’d slept all morning and intended to do the same in the afternoon. I had similar thoughts with regards to how my afternoon might pan out but Colin was keen to get out of the hotel for a bit and invited me and Jack to go with him.
He suggested we head out for a drive up towards Mount Teide in his hire car. I can honestly say some of the scenery on the way to, and when we arrived at Teide, was absolutely stunning. It was breathtaking. There’s a cable car there, taking tourists up the mountain, and Colin had been telling us on the drive up there that he’d love to go on it if he had the chance. We’d been out less than an hour at this point so decided to give it a go. You only live once and all that.
On the way in, like with most tourist attractions these days, they took your photo so you could purchase a keepsake key ring or in a photo in a frame at the end of your trip up the mountain. Jack, bless him, asked inquisitively about why they were taking our photo. I informed him it was so they could identify everyone in the cable car should we not make it. He considered it for a half a second before giving me a slap across the back. On the way up, Colin was tall enough to grab onto a roof rail to stop him swaying, but even if Jack and had stood on my shoulders or vice versa, I still don’t think we would have reached, so we held onto each other for comfort. We spent enough time at the top to take a few pictures before heading back down.
We were only out for a couple of hours but it broke the day up nicely and we returned well within time for tea. There was a relaxed mood in the dining room, with the players having rested well during the day. The room cleared around 8.30pm and an early night was on the cards for everyone.
As I hope you’ll appreciate, there hasn’t been too much to report on today given that it has been rest day, which is why this instalment is much shorter than previous accounts. Normal service will resume tomorrow, though.
Let’s see what day five has in store… After a day of recuperation, the players know they’ll have to be on it!