Blog 104 - 28.01.18

Blog 104 - 28.01.18

Pre season is underway and already images are forming in my mind about the possibles and probables. Thirty seven hopefuls turned up to our first session at Centre Park to participate in what I termed as pre-preparation training. For some sadly it was a step too far. Let’s face it if you never have played for eight seasons or played league and want to convert to football in your late twenties or on holiday from Fiji and want to fill in some time you are at the wrong place. I am trying to put together a Premier League team, a reserve and youth team plus staff to guide those three teams. It is not a social scene or a place to occupy a few bored or out of condition would be football hopefuls!

The three sessions ended with a full scale practice match that saw the probables win 7-0. It was a good start to our pre season.

This week is much of the same only the ball work will be paired not individual activity, the steady rate running will be five minutes longer and the week will end with yet another practice match.

Hopefully it will be a more competitive game. Centre Park will host the training and the practice match will be at Massey Road kick off 4pm.

My theme in week one and two is “work with intensity.” 
I was pleased to see in the brief video done of the training that visually players looked keen and on their toes and every kick counted.

There was a good example of some poor first touches of the ball but no doubt the players concerned will file that clip and work on their game.

This week will also see the return of my manager Jason Ormsby. Jason will bring even more professionalism to the sessions organising equipment and iced water.

Last week I tuned into that’s the email address of Michael Utting and his “Utter Football” programme. If you haven’t listened to it do yourself a favour and start tomorrow at 7pm. Last week his guest was Bruce Grobbelaar the ex Liverpool goalkeeping legend. Michael played for Bruce at Super Sports in South Africa.

I thoroughly enjoyed the common sense that came out of the interview.

What a breath of fresh air from a man who's done the business not obtained it from a text book or a college course.
How about as a player he enjoyed most the camaraderie and banter of the dressing room. At Liverpool they could have a drink up to Wednesday but Thursday and Friday were a no no if there was a Saturday game. The squads in those days were small and rotation was unheard of. The best team played and injuries were the most likeliest reason a team changed players.

Goalkeepers trained with the squad and participated in a lot of five a side with the losers putting the gear away.
There were sessions for shot stopping, crosses and distribution but none of these sessions saw keepers disappearing on their own away from the team.

Let’s face it these days keepers have to be first class 
playing off both feet. Most of their job is as a tidying up player and distributing the ball, with now and then a shot to stop or a cross to take.

I plan my training accordingly. John Slotemaker this week put up a pre season photo on Facebook from my days at Nelson United in 1977. The shot saw a group of young footballers with smiles on their faces looking to attack Pre season.
In the shot with me and Slotsy were a young Kenny Cresswell, Eric James, Keith Barrett, David Brydon, John Enoka, Peter Simonsen and Carl Steele. Hidden away somewhere were Charlie Ure, Keith Mackay and others.

The photo initiated a lot of comments chiefly comparing the toughest pre season you have ever had. Also comments such as “those were the days when men were men.” To put the record straight that was the Grampian mountain run and took you to the top of the mountain. Way up there where the communication and television towers are erected. To get there you climb it, run through long grass, hear the snort of wild pigs, clamber down the other side and end up 5/6 miles from where you started.

Yes it was the toughest pre season run ever. Set up by my young centre back John Slotemaker who worked as a Silviculturist on those hills.Great for team spirit and as you can see talked about forty one years later!

Just finished James Joyce “The Dubliners.” More short stories that I have read and read quite simply because Joyce is such a good writer.

All the stories are about life in Dublin in the 1900’s. The fifteen stories covered almost in order, childhood, puberty and old age. Some of the characters appeared later in Joyce’s masterpiece Ulysses. Dublin in the early 20th century was buzzing with Irish Nationalism.

My favourite was the last and longest story The Dead. The epiphany that unfolded was a real jolt for the protagonist Gabriel Conroy.

Listening to Pearl Jam a double album Greatest Hits 1991-2003 left behind by son Rory. The play list is depicted annoyingly in graffiti fashion on the back cover and almost impossible to follow. Chiefly rock and grunge from this Seattle born band. The more I play it the more I like it.

WOW (word of the week) Epiphany, noun, the manifestation of a god. The moment when you suddenly feel you understand something that is important to you. Often the theme of all Joyce’s short stories.

POW (phrase of the week) “Work with intensity.” My battle cry for Pre season training. Aim to give all and improve daily.
Enjoy the fabulous weather and your pre season training.

Posted: Sun 28 Jan 2018