Leighanne Ball, the club's media officer, brings you the lowdown of day three in Tenerife...
Hola from Tenerife on day three!
It was very, very quiet in the dining room this morning. Breakfast was a quieter than usual, too, when I arrived shortly after 7am, with some of the lads trying to squeeze in a few more minutes in bed before starting the day.
Early starts, long days and four gruelling sessions had begun taking their toll. And that’s just me, I don’t know how the lads must be feeling!..
In all seriousness, the sessions during the first two days have been very demanding, and there were a lot of tired minds and bodies. The mental fatigue is just as bad as aches and pains.
Today was a gym day for the players, which involved spinning, a circuit and a pool session. It was tough on their already stiff and sore bodies, but I imagine it was good change from two hours out on the training pitch. Beechy asked if I fancied taking part in the spinning session but I politely declined. I try my best at a HIIT class with Frances Fielding once a week and I know my capabilities, so I wouldn’t have liked to have embarrassed myself.
The spinning sessions were pretty intense, with plenty of sweat dripping on the floor from the brows (and their entire body, to be honest) of the players. The circuit followed straight after and involved eight different activities with weights of all varieties. Pull ups and bungee ropes were also involved. The sessions ended in the pool.
There are some short videos of today’s sessions on Twitter, and you’ll find images from the day in our online gallery.
Every year, Jack the Kitman is set a challenge by the players to run around the track at the training ground in the fastest possible time. This year he completed it in 2 minutes and 8 seconds. Sadly, I didn’t take note of last year’s time, so I’ve nothing to compare it to, although Joe Raff seems to think he completed it in 30 seconds last year. I’m really not so sure... but I have started calling him Mr Bolt.
At the end of the session, the players heard the words they’d be hoping for – tomorrow is a rest day.
The key is obviously striking the right balance between making sure the players are fit and ready to for the new season, without pushing them too far. The Gaffer and his management are very good at knowing when enough is enough, and tomorrow’s rest day has come at the right time.
The players will use their time wisely during rest day, as they know they still have many more sessions to get through before the week is out. On the bright side, once Monday is done and dusted, they’ll be on the home stretch towards the return to England.
As I said at the start of the week, when the players aren’t training or eating, they’re sleeping or chilling in their bedroom, but with the thoughts of a lie in tomorrow on their minds, I spotted a few of the players around the hotel tonight. The Youth Team lads were playing table tennis, very competitively, I might add. Dan Adshead was beating Keith Kearney 20-18 when I over for a chat, so will find out tomorrow who won.
Jack the Kitman and I joined Josh and Brendan for a coffee at the café next door. These two have struck up a very good relationship already and have already built a good rapport. They’re room sharing on this trip, which probably helps, too. But it’s easy to see why they get on so well – like Josh, Brendan is easy to talk to and always has time for a conversation. He’s an interesting guy and is a really good fit with the squad.
After coffee, it was time for me to head back to my room and check in with Mr Ball to see how he’s coping without me, and to make sure he’s keeping the flat tidy and eating his five-a-day. He’s doing ok in both departments so far, I’m pleased to report.
With the clock ticking towards 11.30pm, it’s time for me to put the laptop down and give the old eyes and brain a rest.
Like the players, tomorrow is the chance for me to grab a bit of down time so I’m looking forward to getting up a little later than 6am.