LFE Blog

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Jon Haynes - Walsall FC

Road To The Final

05/08/11 |

Day 10

After a light session yesterday it was an early start again for breakfast.

The lads got up nice and fresh after all had a good night sleep and looked in good spirits ready for the game this evening.

However this morning we had a training session from a former Dutch International called Rob Witschge. He was also a coach and assistant to former Ajax and Holland manager Marco Van Basten.

He gave us a light training session consisting of passing and moving which led on to a crossing and finishing drill. The session he delivered to us was similar to how the Utrecht coach did in the first week. Their thoughts were all about passing and first touch.

After the master-class coaching session the lads went back and had dinner before resting ahead of our final group game against Ijsselmeervogels. The lads were very excited for this game to arrive and wanted to get a good win under the belt to put us in good stead for the final on Friday.

In the evening we started our preparations by eating lightly to give us energy for the game ahead before having a meeting with our manager, again to discuss the team and how to go about the match.

After that it was up to the players.

The warm up was done and it was time for kick-off, the lads started slowly and didn’t get hold of the match in the first period of the first-half. Midway through we started to pick up our game and after good run by our left back Mal Benning we were awarded a penalty that was tucked away by Dan Griffiths.

Quickly after Dan Griffiths buried again to make it 2-0 and that was the score going in at half time.

At half time the manager had some wise words to tell the players and told them what things had to be improved on to seal the victory.

Walsall Coaches

The lads took this into the second half and Dan Griffiths completed his hat-trick early into the second half after good run by Jake Heath.

After this the lads found the game comfortable and stepped up the tempo and the opposition struggled. Two goals from Jake Heath and Jacob Hobbis put the game out of reach for the opposition.

This was followed by another two goals courtesy of Keiron Morris and Arron Willams to round off a good win for the lads.

Post-match the lads replenished energy levels with lots of good healthy food and then went off to bed to relax.

Day 11

After a good win last night today was a relaxing day. After breakfast we split off into two groups. One group had an enjoyable game of pitch and putt while the other group made efficient use of the bikes and the bmx track to go on a fun but in some ways tough bike ride.

Then the two groups swapped.

The lads found this very enjoyable and found it a good way to relax, the manager also thought it is a good way for the lads to bond and was better than letting everyone lie in bed all day and go stiff.

The lads then were able to have lunch before having free time on the afternoon before training.

Most of the lads took the opportunity to have re-matches against other team mates on the darts and on the pool table. However most times the winner first time round was the winner again second time round!

Late afternoon it was time to train and to do our final preparation for tomorrow’s game. The manager made the training session short and enjoyable.

However the session was at a very quick tempo and was competitive, these are two things that you need in a game of football.

We started the session with fun and games with two teams competing against each other in numerous warm up games before having a 5-a-side tournament on very small pitches.

The final preparations were done and the lads were able to go and get showered and have dinner before relaxing at night. We relaxed with some of the other lads from other clubs and spoke to them about their club and their results in the tournament.

However most of the lads went to bed early as they wanted to get a good nights sleep to be ready for the biggest game of the tournament tomorrow afternoon against Watford.