Monday started with college work and meant that training was in the afternoon which gives everyone who played on Saturday some extra time for their body to recover.
The afternoon training was linked in with the Reserve team who were preparing for a local derby with Middlesbrough at the Riverside. The session revolved around possession before breaking into a mini game which the Gaffer, Chris Hughton came down to watch. It was really exciting to see the first team Manager present for someone like myself and it shows how interested he is in what’s going on at Reserve and Youth team levels.
The session was of good quality as a consequence because with it being international week it means there are a few places up for grabs in the squad – with players being away representing their respective countries.
Reserves Match: Middlesbrough v Newcastle United
I wasn’t included in the squad for the match but was still given the opportunity to travel down with the side on Tuesday for experience which I have to say made my week.
Everything about it was great – being on the coach, the journey down, getting off at the ground and feeling like you’re a proper professional player when you’re walking in to an arena that so many top players in world football have played at. Then you get out on the pitch and it just hits you what a step up it is from Academy football. The match itself ended 2-1 to Boro but the whole night was a new and enjoyable experience for me.
On Thursday we only had a morning session, as we already had a few lads going in injured and couldn’t afford any more injuries (that an afternoon session potentially risked) with the weekend’s match approaching.
On Friday it was short and sharp with a bit of possession complimented by some work on our shape. We then settled down to watch a DVD to help us prepare tactically for Barnsley.
When Saturday Comes!
Academy Match: Newcastle United v Barnsley
The Barnsley match ended up being a bit of a non event in terms of action and chances and as you can probably guess now ended 0-0. The best chance of the match fell to Sammy who decided to square a ball to an offside player when really a shot might have proved better.
On a personal note I thought had one of my best performances of the season so far. I stuck to the task and kept everything simple while at the same time managing to get forward at every available opportunity.