Day 3 was matchday, so with the game scheduled for the evening there was no early run.
Breakfast was at 8.45 as normal and training was at 10 30. A nice little lie in!
We had a lighter session because of the game we had ahead. We trained for about an hour together doing some small sharp bits of possession and then we went into a bit of team shape before the starting team for the evenings game went off for an early lunch so they could prepare properly for the game. The others stayed out and buried Callum Preston for a bit longer.
The game started at 6 o clock against NK Maribor. For the first time since we had arrived it rained cats and dogs for hours before kick-off.
FRIENDLY: NK Maribor v Birmingham City
When the game kicked off we started keeping the ball well but didn’t really penetrate as much as we would have liked. Lapses in concentration cost us two goals so we had to chase the game but in the second half we bossed it.
We had a few good chances to bring the game back but did not find that finishing touch. I scored a cracker (If I do say so myself!) to get us close but we came just short. All in all we weren’t far off and it was a good effort from all the lads even though half of them picked up injuries!
It was late by the time the game had finished so we had dinner and then only had about an hour to ourselves to rest and reflect on the game. Back to our rooms at 10pm ready for another long day in the morning.
The following day, we went down for training on the pitches at 10.30am for another day of sergeant Steve Spooner’s (Youth Team Coach) training camp and we started off with a typical warm up from Chris Wright – a jog, some stretches and then ball work.
After lunch, we split into two groups and did a gym session followed by a relaxing spa, which included Jacuzzi’s, two saunas, steam rooms and a freezing ice-bath!
The most enjoyable equipment was the Jacuzzi as the hot bubbles relaxed your whole body! After the spa we all went back to our rooms to get showered off and relaxed.
Later on we all went down the road to a place were we could go in cable cars that took us up to the top of a mountain. The view was amazing and there were even some guys who went down the mountain on bikes. Why? I can’t explain, but they seemed to enjoy it and made it look easy!
When we got to the top, we walked round the local area and grabbed some refreshments before we headed back down the mountain. Once back at the hotel we relaxed and took advantage of a local ice-cream shop.
After that we went up to the room where we all performed a dance which was very funny. Then Steve and Kristjaan (Kristjaan Speakman, Academy Manager) came up to our corridor to tell us to settle down and go to bed for 10.00pm which we did.
Overall, Slovenia was a well organised and beneficial trip. It was a good experience for the lads because some had never even been abroad before! All of the lads joined in with the banter, as well as the coaches, which formed a great atmosphere at the camp and it was a great team-building experience.
Whilst we were out there we also kept a daily blog of what we were going through which was published on the website for the supporters and our staff and family to keep an eye on what we were getting up to!
In the next edition of this blog, I’ll go into more detail about life as an Apprentice footballer, from training to the education and fill you in on the fixtures we’ve played in too.