Today was our first full day in La Manga and the first opportunity for the players to experience some warm-weather training together. Or so we thought...
Instead, we were disappointed to find that the weather was cloudy, cold AND we even had a few spots of rain. ‘Poor you!’ I hear you cry – and rightly so. From what we’ve heard, the weather in Manchester isn’t particularly pleasant so to be honest, I think we’re in the better place at the moment.
It was an early start this morning with breakfast at 08:30 am. Everyone managed to make it on time – although we weren’t all bright-eyed and bushy-tailed!
After breakfast, the players headed over to the gym for some weight training, stretching and strength work. Everyone had their own programme to follow and I have to admit, it’s quite amusing to see them try to keep a straight face, whilst we’re trying to film and take photos of them!
Following the gym session, we made our way to the pitches for outdoor training. The morning drill was focused on strength and conditioning which meant a lot of running, stretching and balance practice.
After the stint, we grabbed Karen Bardsley, Andie Worrall, Kim Turner and Jill Scott for interviews, which I can’t wait for you to see. We have ‘What’s In A Names’, along with some new features which had us in stitches.
I’ll give you a taste of things to come… Before we even started the interview, we asked KB to test the mic with “one, two, three” and she replied: “uno, dos, cinco.”
Erm, I think you’ll have to brush up on your Spanish! That sets the tone anyway…
I especially enjoyed Andie’s rant on the team’s poor music taste and her disgust at how some of them had never heard of the Doors!
In other news, there is talk of a squad versus staff match on Friday so I’ll have to dust off my shinpads! Andie is absolutely insistent that this dreaded clash will go ahead and she’s asked each member of staff what shoe size they are in order to find us a pair of boots each. Gulp!
To be honest, I don’t fancy my chances of even getting a touch of the ball, after watching the afternoon session of fast-paced attacking. And watching KB and Andie both take part in some goalkeeper training with Kurt De Klerk doesn’t fill me with confidence that I’ll be scoring any goals.
(On another note, I almost dislocated my shoulder when trying to chest down one of KB’s drop-kicks). Ouch.
Moving on… the ever-professional captain Steph Houghton was the first player onto the pitch and also the last to leave as she opted to stay behind to practice her free-kicks.
We also had a game of keepy-uppy - with forfeits. Those who lost control of the ball had to give impressions of animals to the camera.
Check it out in our video montage of the day's events: