We awoke this morning to a few clouds and the sun shining through heralding a beautiful day with manageable temperatures in this picturesque part of Bavaria.
The day starts with a coaches meeting at 8am at which Dean plus Richard O’Kelly, Thomas Frank, Nicholas Jover, Inaki Cana, Lars Friis, Chris Haslam and Neil Greig discuss the intricacies of the day ahead. They would already have had a get together the previous evening to map out the schedule but this daily pre breakfast meeting allows them to receive any updates from Neil (Head of Medical) on the players, including any knocks, ailments, aches or pains that he would have picked up on at the previous evening’s Medical Clinic, or indeed overnight.
They then proceed to add meat to the bones of the schedule, finalising the morning and afternoon’s sessions content before putting the morning's schedule on the flip-chart for the players and staff to note when they arrive for breakfast. This includes timings for such things as medical prep which precludes all other activities, as indeed it would were we still at Jersey Road. Then there is invariably a list with timings for set piece meetings with groups of players; the time that the players have to be on the training pitch (barely a five minute walk from the hotel) and of course the individual sessions which may be shown as Back 4, Breakthrough, SP, Boxes, Passing, 11v11 and SSG, all before lunch provisionally scheduled for 13.00.
I will at some point go into more detail in respect of the above mentioned sessions (once I fathom them out myself!). However, suffice to say all of the above were completed with the exception of the 11v11 on this occasion.
It was then time for lunch with similar fayre to that which would be available at Jersey Road, superbly presented with waitresses in what appears to be national costume (albeit not lederhosen).
Co-Director of Football Rasmus Ankersen joined us for lunch, having arrived yesterday afternoon, as did the Club’s Sleep Coach Anna, who had undertaken a six hour drive to come and watch us train from her home, the other side of the Alps in Switzerland.
We then had some free time before a 3pm meet up for myself and the coaching staff at the training pitches. It was to set up a “football golf-course”... eleven holes (targets) dotted in and around the training complex involving the track around the pitch replicating a water hazard incurring penalties of a dropped shot, and various objects such as training mannequins in strategic places to make it somewhat difficult to hit the targets. Everybody, staff and players, were to take part, apart from the Adjudicators (Dean and yours truly) and they played as foursomes with a member of the teams I mentioned yesterday being represented in each team.
Team captains were given a scorecard and I had the responsibility of checking the cards afterwards.
It was a testing course but a thoroughly enjoyable one if the sounds emanating from those taking part, and the look on their faces, was anything to go by.
So to tonight, and the results of the football golf competition. The winning team, with 157 points over the 11 holes, comprised Daryl Martin, Mads Sorensen, Rico Henry and Ollie Watkins, whilst lagging 10 places behind them with 188 points were Richard O’Kelly (the architect of the course) Nico Yennaris, Neal Maupay and Ezri Konsa.
The best single score was 31, shot by Jack Bonham and Mads Sorensen, whilst the highest overall individual score was by Tom Perryman, a member of the Conditioning Team, with 59. What it did mean was that Gilespuff had moved into a two point lead, on 6 points, over the other three, Ankerin, Cliffcrow and Benhamdor.
The evening came to an abrupt end when tonight’s newcomer Steve Bennett, a member of the Communications team, gave a rendition of “It’s Coming Home”. It has to be said that of all the versions of “Three Lions ...” which are doing the rounds at the moment, this was the most pathetic although Steve’s little dance routine (if thats what you call it) tried to deflect from the singing performance, but that too failed.