Youth Alliance Match: Carlisle United v Stockport County
We played Stockport County at Creighton last Saturday and it was difficult conditions for us yet again. The wind was blowing strongly but I thought we dealt with it quite well, and we played some decent stuff.
We were 3 – 0 up in the first half but we were playing with the wind so we knew the second half was going to be much more difficult. We dug in though and it was fairly open, even though the flight of the ball was very difficult to judge.
Unfortunately we conceded a late goal but I suppose that it didn’t really matter in terms of the result. To be honest, I have to admit that I gave the penalty away. The lad came at me and I clipped him as I tried to make the tackle and he went down. It was unfortunate but overall I thought we did well. A few of the Under-16 lads came on once the result was safe and that’s good because they will be doing it for real next year. It looks like we have got a good crop of players because they did well and they didn’t look out of place.
Match: Rochdale Reserves v Carlisle United Reserves
We had a Reserve game on Wednesday against Rochdale and although we got beat I thought we played quite well. It was a very young team, virtually a Youth team, but we held our own. We’re getting used to playing at Reserve level now and most of us really look forward to it.
Conor Tinnion had another good game and the back four were fairly strong even though we did concede a couple of goals after the break. It was one of those games where they had two chances and scored with them both whereas we just couldn’t find the back of the net at all. Rochdale were a more mature team with older players so it’s good for our youngsters to get that experience of playing at a higher level.
Last Monday Andy Cook and I had a VO2 max test. We had to go on a treadmill, which got progressively faster minute by minute, and we had to keep going until we were exhausted. We had to wear an oxygen mask throughout.
It was really difficult because, if you are in a game and you come to the point your body can’t take it any more, you slow yourself down automatically. On the treadmill you can’t do that. You’ve got to keep going and it just gets faster and faster. Obviously it’s hard and your body begins to shut down towards the end.
We had trained with the first team that morning and that had been a hard session and both Cooky and I knew that we still had the test to come. It was extremely hard, particularly on my legs, and it was a massive relief when I was told to stop.
I thought it was a good exercise though. I didn’t enjoy it but I thought it was worthwhile and I learned from it. I’d definitely like to do it again to see if I could improve… and it would be interesting to do it when I hadn’t had a tough training session half an hour before. I reckon the results would be better. It would also be good to get a go on it when we come back for pre-season, just to see how much of an affect a few weeks off has on your overall fitness.
Last Thursday I found out that I had been called up to attend another Scotland U19 training camp. I was delighted about that. I didn’t know much about it at the time but it goes without saying that I was looking forward to it. It was on Monday and Tuesday of this week so I’ll be able to update everybody on how it went in my final blog for LFE.