Just three days to go, including match day on Saturday, as I wake up this morning. Not the clear blue sky that greeted me twenty four hours previously, which was to herald in the perfect day for the rafting, but nevertheless it's dry and the sun is working hard to peep through the high clouds.
Today we are using a different venue at which to train. Its called the Worgl Stadium, which is apt as it plays host to SV Worgl. I’m trying to establish which league they play in but can tell you that they had a home pre season friendly on Tuesday night and won 6-1.
We made our way there at 10.30 with warm up for different groups the first of the action, albeit as always the three keepers and Inaki Cana had gone down earlier and started their session.
Then we saw everyone involved on different areas of the pitch under the direction of the coaches. The whole session lasted about two and a half hours and finished with a killing (for me watching and feeling for them anyway) set of runs. It was a really good work out for all, and particularly for our two newcomers, Pontus Jansson and Mathias Jensen, for whom it was their first full session.
At every training session there is full medical back up under the jurisdiction of Neil Greig, ably assisted by Nick Stubbings and Chris Domoney, whilst Chris Haslam (Head of Athletic Performance) together with Tom Perryman and Matt King are there to work on the fitness of the players and monitor their performances levels.
Off the field, as previously mentioned, we have Luke Stopforth’s team of Analysts (Zaheer and Taylor) filming and monitoring all the action and recording and logging it for use by the coaching staff. Then there’s Big Bob who is responsible for all the kit, clothing and equipment, and rarely switches off as it's a time consuming responsibility. Similar to my Brian Hanrahan quote yesterday, in relation to every item, Bob has to “count them all out and count them all back”.
Covering the proceedings for your delectation are the media team of Ciaran Brett and Harvey Parsons, and through their photos and videos they are better placed than I to explain the in and outs of the training sessions. Other than the coaches who are all well known to you, the only other person in our party is Saif Elounas, one of our excellent chefs from Jersey Road, who oversees all of our meals and is best placed to advise any players who may have specific dietary requirements.
After training it was back on the bus to the Hotel for a late lunch followed by a number of gym sessions during the remainder of the afternoon.
Tonight the players and the staff ate separately in the Hotel and were given the option of eating a la carte instead of the pre-arranged menus they would normally have available to them. This enabled both groups to have their own team bondings sessions following “ a hard day at the office”.
It also meant that our final “sing-a-long” had been put back to Friday night with Pontus and Mathias having an additional 24 hours to hone their acts.
And so to bed with the final morning training session looming after breakfast and the much awaited staff game being played in the afternoon. I can’t wait to hear and see the post match analysis on that game. The bravado and idle threats have already reared their ugly heads during dinner this evening. Unfortunately I’m unable to take part as much as I would like to, but there’s an age limit to those taking part, oddly enough introduced by me. I really could kick myself, no seriously I really could kick myself, hence the reason I will be spectating.