After I’d fuelled up with ham and egg on toast for breakfast we began our first session in Spain with the Real Betis staff, who put on practices that were based on short passing, combinations and pressing. Everything was short stuff and the sessions were all linked. As we were still acclimatising to the heat, conditions and instructions of a new coach it proved a testing morning when we probably weren’t as sharp as normal.
After the session we went back to the hotel, had a shower and came down for lunch, which was pasta, meats and potatoes. This was much-needed after a hard session in the heat. With a bit of free time, we had some rest and recovered to prepare for the evening session, which was with our coaches.
In this session back at Coria football club, there were similarities to what we had done in the morning and more games, so there was a more competitive feel to training.
After our previous day’s work I elected to get the sun cream on so that I wouldn’t burn during the morning session. Ironically, it ended up being quite a dull morning but training with our coaches Liam [Bailey ] and Chris [Llewellyn] still proved taxing as we engaged in a session of pressing the ball and opponents – in the heat the high intensity running was extremely energy sapping.
Mental exhaustion was to follow after lunch in the form of a Spanish lesson. Spending some time learning a foreign language is far from the norm in a footballer’s regime so while it was nice to do something different it was also a real challenge for some of us.
After saying adios to our tutors the evening training session back at Coria was with Huddersfield’s players. This was taken by the head youth coach from the Andalusian FA. The coach set up lots of rondos with different sizes to try and keep the ball away from the defenders. Then we played a short 11 v 11 game to finish against Huddersfield. We won 2-1 so we went back to the hotel worn out but happy!