LFE Blog

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Dan Pringle - Crystal Palace

Up For Nothing

10/02/10 |

Last week turned out to be somewhat of an anti-climax with our FA Youth Cup game away to Hull City being called off. We had prepared really well and everything was put in place for us to go and get a positive result.

We left the training ground on Tuesday at 10am, aiming to arrive at Leicester around lunch time. The idea of stopping off at Leicester to train was to break up the journey for us, as a straight trip to Hull would be too long. We trained for about an hour and fifteen minutes and went over tactics and set-pieces.

After departing Leicester we finally arrived at our hotel in Doncaster at around 6pm and had an hour in our rooms to chill out before dinner.

The hotel we stayed in was fantastic and we were looked after really well. We were given the members suite to ourselves and had a good night watching Butts bang in a hat-trick while playing pool. Because of the first team’s great result against Wolves we went to bed in a good mood, feeling excited and ready to play against Hull the next day.

We were down to breakfast at 9am, before having an hour to shower and get ready etc. We then went for a walk as a team around the golf course which was refreshing and gave us a chance to properly stretch our legs. The lake was frozen over and the grass icy, but none of us thought that it would affect our chances of playing later that day.

After the walk we then went swimming for a short while… I say a short while as a certain Jerry Nnamani was sick in the pool which meant we had to get out early. Thanks Jez! We still managed to kill some time and play a few games anyway. The walk and swim was designed to stop us getting bored and to also tire us out a little, as we were then sent to our rooms for the afternoon to get a few hours sleep.

The preparation was going well and it wasn’t until about half 3pm when we found out the game was off. Everyone was surprised and disappointed when the news broke as you can imagine. We had come all this way and put in the perfect preparation only for the game to be called off last minute. I’m sure if the game was played at the KC Stadium it wouldn’t have got called off, but at a non-league ground it is something which can be a problem in the wintry conditions.

So after finding out the game was off, we all had 10 minutes to pack and be downstairs to leave. We ambled down and had some food before setting off back to Beckenham. If we’d have played we wouldn’t have minded the long trip back, but after going all that way for nothing the long journey back was the last thing we wanted.

I suppose the only good thing to come out of the long coach journey was that we managed to watch the first and second series of The Inbetweeners… I think Muiry and Sellsy were especially grateful!

Gary asked us on the way back what we thought of the preparation and we all gave positive feedback, so I don’t think too much will change for next time. Even though we didn’t play, a lot of us felt really tired on the Thursday which was somewhat surprising. I got home about half 10 and got a good night’s sleep, but woke up feeling like I had gone to extra time the night before.

The game has been rearranged for this Thursday, so we will have exactly the same preparation just a day later.