Day five already. Time doesn’t half pass you by quickly when you’re out here.
Unbelievably we’re now more than half way through our trip to Tenerife and hurtling towards our return to England. Our stay is six nights and seven days long this year, and we fly home late on Wednesday evening.
After the rest day yesterday, the players were back on the training pitch today. Two sessions were in store for them, with the first of the day getting underway at 8.45am. The second started at 4.45pm.
We train early in the morning and late in the afternoon to make sure the players aren’t training when the sun is at its hottest hot, although there’s no escaping the heat, that’s for sure! In fact, we experienced the hottest temperatures of the trip so far (29 degrees) during this afternoon session.
The T3 is a state of the art complex, which houses three grass pitches, tennis courts, two swimming pools and several gyms, to name but a few of the facilities on offer here.
And today fellow EFL side Brighton and Hove Albion arrived on site, although it’s unlikely we’ll cross paths with them over the next few days as they’re using a different pitch/ part of the complex to us. Saying that, former Dale players Dale Stephens and Glenn Murray both made a point of stalking out the Gaffer and Beechy to come and say hello. Chris O’Grady was part of a separate session and has promised to pop by tomorrow.
As I mentioned in a previous diary, every training session has a purpose and today’s sessions were based around winning possession and pressing, as well as a reminder of what the players should be doing when they’re not in possession.
Like yesterday, it was another 11v11 scenario on the full size pitch during both sessions. Colin Garlick is most definitely earning his keep this week as he was the man in the middle again. Bailey is as well - he has been running the line. Nathaniel Mendez-Laing has already had him in a playful headlock after a decision didn’t go his way.
Although I bring you 99-percent of what goes on out here, I’ve got to be mindful not to give away too many secrets or reveal any content which could be detrimental to the Gaffer’s decision making process or to the team. This is why you won’t have found any of the 11v11 footage on Dale PlayerHD. These sessions are designed to look at shape, formations, personnel in certain positions etc, and it’s important we don’t give our early season opponents a head start when it comes to plotting against us.
I must say that yesterday’s rest day looks to have done the players the world of good. There was a renewed freshness to the sessions today, and an upbeat atmosphere amongst the rejuvenated players. There were plenty of smiles, which was good to see. All in all, it was a good day training wise with plenty achieved.
After lunch, I caught up with Ollie Rathbone, who met up the squad a week ago, to see if he’s settling in ok. He’s got a good bubbly character and is already well liked amongst the squad. He is also very, very talented, and has bought straight into the Gaffer’s philosophy and his way of doing things.
This evening I put your questions to Jim McNulty. I’d like to say a big thank you to everyone, including Grant Holt (cheers Holty!) who sent in a question.
Jim is a great talker and always has something interesting to say. Pick a copy of TVOS on the opening day of the season to find out whose character is as big their back side, as well as which world class player Jim played against when he was capped by Scotland at youth level.
That brought my day to an end and I headed back to my room to give myself a head start on content for tomorrow morning.