Firstly I can update you on the leg injury I sustained against Kingstonian last week. I am pleased to report that it cleared up pretty quickly, and hasn’t stopped me from doing too much. I missed a couple of days training and just worked hard with Stuart to get the leg right. Where my leg twisted, the leg muscles at the top of my leg went into spasm and hindered my mobility. I’m thankful it wasn’t as serious as first thought as I really didn’t want to spend any more time in the treatment room.
The leg is feeling fine and I’m now hoping to be in the squad for the big game on Wednesday against Bristol City. There is definitely a different feeling around the training ground as we build up for the youth cup game. As I have previously stated, it is a huge event for us and one that we hope to do very well in. The weekend league game against Fulham was moved forward 24 hours to Friday to give us an extra day to recover and prepare for Wednesday. We are high on confidence going into the game after a very good 4-0 win against a tough Fulham side.
Fulham are the top scorers in the league and Gary Issott made us well aware of how difficult this game was going to be. We have the best defensive record though, so it really was going to be down to who played best on the day. The back four of Kenlock, Nnamani, Holland and Parsons were the best players on this pitch and defended superbly. Jack and Jerry have developed a very good partnership at the centre of our defence and look unbeatable at the moment. No wonder I can’t get a game!
On Saturday morning the subs from Friday’s game and some pro’s trained with Chris Short, and I got through it fine. It was a tough workout but it was just what I needed. The lads that started on Friday came in and did a recovery session in the Gym with new fitness coach Niall Clark. Niall has joined us from Man City and has worked for other clubs like West Ham and Charlton. It has been great working with him in his early days and has introduced us to new things to help as we all look to improve all aspects of our game.
Before matches we are told what to drink and at what times, and then after games we have special recovery drinks, at half time we have these special energy gels, and we now even have to take a special drink called Nocte the day before a game which is a night time drink for athletes. It helps your body to repair and recover and it helps you get into a deeper, undisturbed sleep which will ultimately benefit you and improve your mental and physical performance the next day.
After training on the Saturday we had a meeting with him and Gary just to tell us about preparation and how important it is what we do in the build up to Wednesday. It was very specific and without giving too much away, he told us to try and not change our routine too much. Even though the game is on Wednesday night, we still have to get up at normal time and not sleep for longer just because we can. He said a power nap during the day is fine and beneficial as long as it is for no longer than 2 hours maximum. We just need to take it as another game and not build it up in our minds.We will now train on Monday and Tuesday in preparation for the game and will watch videos on City.
I think our captain Jerry Nnamani will be a big player for us on Wednesday. This is his third year of playing in the Youth Cup so he has a lot of experience. He also played in the pre-season game against Gillingham, so he’s fully aware of what it’s like playing at Selhurst. Jerry has a great personality and is an important player for us. You feel assured when Jerry’s in your team and we will need him to lead and organise from the back against a good Bristol City team.
Appreciating the current financial climate and that Christmas is fast approaching, but if it is within your ability to come on Wednesday then please make the effort; a decent crowd and a good atmosphere will really help the lads.