Hi, time for another Blog albeit having missed a day.
In truth, Wednesday was all about preparation for that evening's friendly away to Manchester United and what they call (similar to my own name for the Brentford Community Stadium) their “Theatre of Dreams”.
For those who didn't travel, I have to say that everyone there that I met, or heard, such as their matchday announcer Alan Keegan, was very respectful of our Club. I'm sure at the end of 90 minutes many within the 30,000 plus crowd would have been respectful of our performance.
I'm sure much has been said and written of our performances not just on Wednesday night but throughout our pre-season programme of friendlies so I won't bore you further other than to say, whichever players started in any particular game, and those who came on at some point later, the performances have been seamless throughout. It really says so much of where we find ourselves as a Club. Gone are the days when we had almost just one recognised first XI plus a variety of young reserves ready to come on as and when, at which time you could almost hear the muttering of fans preparing to make their way to the exits.
But this is now a totally different club and one we can all feel rightly proud of, whether you are new onboard, or like many others that have suffered the “slings and arrows of outrageous fortune” over more years than we may care to mention.
And it's not just on the pitch that this incredible transition has taken place. When you look at our “new” Stadium (and fortunately many will now, as fans, return at long last) it really is of the present with large screens and smaller screens, which are viewable from all angles, and are there to capture those moments which might be just beyond the naked eye.
Anyway, as per usual I'm rambling now.
It was certainly good to today to see our two Danish Euro semi finalists return to the fold. Both Mathias Jensen and Christian Norgaard had had the opportunity of a well-deserved break after their heroics for their national side, and for Christian it was a summer he will never forget – Promotion to the Premier League, Euros Semi Finalists, and marriage to the lovely Josefine. Now that is some treble.
Today, Thursday, directly after breakfast we welcomed a number of people from The Premier League, The PFA and The PGMOL (Professional Game Match Officials Board).They were there to talk to the players about all aspects of the game, such as player care, rules of the game, media responsibilities, EDI and the dreaded V.A.R. It was noticeable after the disputed offside decisions here during training on Tuesday, that both the Analysts, Jack and Joe, were nowhere to be seen.
That apart it was a normal post-match day today, one of recovery, which included mobility and pool sessions in the morning and strength sessions mid-afternoon. There were also a number of the obligatory media interviews, all done online, and expertly managed by the team comprising Chris Deacon, Ciaran Brett and Stu Wakeford.
During the afternoon I had the pleasure of being introduced to a friend of our Set Piece Coach, Bernardo Cueva. The person in question is a member of the Real Betis squad who too were staying at St George's and was born, like Bernardo, in Guadalajara. His name is Andres Guardado; he is the captain of Mexico and has appeared in four World Cups during his career which has so far seen him make 166 appearances for his nation. Most impressive.
The rest of the afternoon and evening ebbed away slowly both pre and post dinner with a number of meetings between coaches and players, coaches and coaches and players and players, all with the same aim, preparing for our first season in the PREMIER LEAGUE.