Mother Nature had the biggest say on what training was like this week. Like most parts of the nation, Nottingham was victim to very heavy snow and this meant that training wasn’t possible outdoors for us throughout most of the week.
On Monday I woke up to see that everywhere was white outside my window, it felt like when you used to wake up for school and were somehow excited by the sight of snow! I headed for training for the City Ground and it took around 40 minutes to get to the ground because of how dangerous the roads were for people to drive on; everyone had to drive slowly and carefully. Fortunately, everyone who had travelled in by car was late because of the snow.
That morning we had to wait to find out what the training situation was and us lads who had played at the weekend against Huddersfield had the morning off so we stayed at the Study Centre with our teacher Sean England and did some work, which was difficult with the excitement of the snow.
After education a few of us went out in the back car park and had a quick snow fight just to get it out of our systems, the snow was still falling like it had done all morning.
After lunch time we went out on to the main car park and had a snow fight between the first and second years which was quite a laugh, however, we did drop the snowballs and act as if we were all just getting fresh air once we saw the gaffer driving past. But he was laughing at us so we felt that was the ‘okay’ to carry on like big kids in the snow.
We ambushed a few of the reserve team players who were coming back from training in their cars, they saw the funny side which was good and attempted to fight back but it wasn’t happening.
In the afternoon we trained in the Dome at our training ground. The Dome is an indoor artificial pitch, it isn’t a full sized pitch but it is still a big area. We just had a series of 5-a-side games that afternoon and had a shooting competition at the end which was a good bit of banter and everyone got competitive, my team came second unfortunately.
On Tuesday it was a case again of waiting to see where we can train and what facilities were available because the first team obviously took priority with them having a massive game against Derby County in the FA Cup replay.
We were training later in the morning and we did a series of 7-a-side games which were actually really good. The pitch wasn’t too big and we had big goals as well so there were plenty of chances to get shots off. We also had conditions on the games like two or three touches maximum and our team which was the yellow bibs were like Brazil! We were playing great one touch and two touch football and we were all enjoying it.
In the afternoon we again had pretty much the same session, we split off into the same teams and had a series of games, not for as long as the morning, but it was a good blow out and it got competitive because each team wanted to win which makes it so much better, as apposed to just going through the motions and not really trying in the games.
On Wednesday we had education like normal from 9 until 3 and then I went back home before coming to the big game in the evening. Our first team were up against Derby County in the replay of the FA Cup fourth round.
The stadium was packed and we got off to the best possible start. We went 1 – 0 up after a matter of minutes and then within ten minutes Cohen put us 2 – 0 up so the crowd were buzzing and the atmosphere was immense. However we let a cheap header in towards the end of the first half and let Derby come back into it.
In the second half Derby were on top and pulled it back to level terms and then public enemy number one Kris Commons came up with the winner for them. After that we gave them a good go, but the ball wasn’t going in and we lost 3 – 2.
One pleasing note was to see that four lads from last years academy were on the bench, they were: Reidy, Ryan, Newbs and Darlow (who’s still in the Youth Team). I wished I could have been on the bench and got on ‘cause I hate losing to Derby, the local rivals getting one over on the first team is something I hate! But never mind, I think the league is more important this year to our first team and staying safe from relegation.
With the snow continuing to fall down throughout the week, Thursday and Friday were pretty much the same as before and we were just training in the Dome for an hour or so before the reserves and first team used it.
On Friday we found out that our game against Sheffield Wednesday away was called off, with Sheffield being more up North I imagine they had a lot worse weather than us and the snow must have meant the pitch was unplayable.
We had to report for training on Saturday morning and the grass wasn’t visible at all, the whole academy was again white. We did a twenty minute recovery session, which means basically jogging at your own pace for twenty minutes just to keep your body and muscles active without putting them through a great deal of pain.
Once we’d done that our coach said he was satisfied with the effort we’d put in to training during the week and told us to just report in normal time on Monday morning. That meant pretty much a weekend off and more time to spend with family and friends which was good.