It’s been a busy few days since we left our Moor Farm training base at 6:15am (yes am) to fly to Amsterdam on Monday. Following a quick transfer and an even sprightlier turn-around at the hotel it was off to training.
Unfortunately this took place on a 3G surface because the grass pitches were closed on the site – so it was a case of some short passing drills and small sided games. We were all disappointed that the first session was on a 3G but hopefully we’ll be back on grass before the end of our stay.
We were all feeling fairly tired after the long day but looking forward to the challenges and experiences that this trip will present. We returned to the hotel for a shower and evening meal. The hotel seems very good and the food we have received has been excellent.
Our first full day started in earnest at 8:30 am (I felt quite refreshed from the early night previously) and it was off to the 3G again for the first of our two training sessions of the day. The weather conditions made it tricky to train due to the rain, however we worked for around an hour and a half before heading back for lunch.
It was then a case of recharging the batteries ahead of a later session. That includes eating properly and resting which allows your body the best chance to recover and train at optimum capacity.
Back we trooped to the 3G for the second session of the day working on small sided games, again in poor weather conditions. After returning we had a team meeting discussing the psychological side of the game and what we wanted to get out of the tour. After this we did some one-to-one chats discussing our recent matches and how we felt pre season was going for us individually and as a team. This gave us the opportunity to think about the expectations that we have of ourselves and others and importantly glean how the staff perceive our progress.
Day 3 was a late start. Our self critiquing continued and we started training at noon. In this session we worked on playing out from the back and our team shape with and without the ball. We then returned to the hotel for lunch. At this stage it was quite apparent that fatigue was setting in amongst the squad so our afternoon plans were moderated to a gym and recovery session in the hotel complex. In this time we completed our gym programme and went in the pool to relax. We were hoping for some good news of being able to train on some good grass pitches. The good news was received in the evening that we were heading for Dordrecht for the guest coaching session delivered by one of the guest coaches from Den Haag. Further one-to-one interviews took place with the staff before returning to hotel rooms for an early nights rest.