The lads were looking forward to today because last night we got a text message from Jamie Harris saying that the club had organised for a masseur to be there to give the lads a massage and to loosen out tight muscles.
This helped everyone who got a rub before training no end. Everyone seemed refreshed and ready to go.
Now I know Andy Haran has come in for a bit of stick over the last few days but you have to think he brings it on himself. Today, the Gaffer gave him the honour of taking the warm up.
He made us do what can be only be described as an old-school warm up where he calls out numbers and we react and do different exercises, only for him to make a mess of the numbers do the wrong exercise and nearly flatten someone by running into them.
As an extension to the warm up we had the first ‘circle' of the year. Two people get into the middle of the circle and everyone else has to keep possession without them touching the ball.
Onto the running, the serious work during pre-season. We had two sets of 8 minute runs to do. They were interval runs where you jog, increase into a stride and then a full out sprint. After the first 8 minutes we were given a chance to stretch and have a drink.
When the runs were finished, we headed over to do some possession work. We did some similar drills to ‘circle' mentioned above, but the areas were much tighter. When you're in the middle, it's tough on the legs, especially when the ground is as soft as it is at the moment.
Maybe that's why Dermot, the masseur, was asked to give so many calf rubs.
After finishing that exercise it opened out into a bigger possession game, this time with 3 teams. The better your team is with the ball, the less running you have to do.
It was onto another running drill after the football and Pesch had set out a fairly long straight run for us. We had to run at a ¾ pace for about 80 yards then jog for 40. After 6 runs the Gaffer stopped us and said we'd done enough.
He then told Parto to take the warm down and when Parto tells you to do something, you don't hang around in doing it. When we got back to the dressing room, those who didn't have a rub before training had one then.
All in all, a good solid session. It's great to mix up the football and the running and there seems to be a good feeling around the place.
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