While fans of Premier League and Championship teams have a week off from following their team up and down the country. The players unfortunate enough to not be selected by their national teams must carry on and train as normal, well I say normal… it usually ends up being like a mini pre-season to earn your weekend off.
With a lower number of players present we will usually be unable to work on any tactical stuff, which means get your running spikes on, because if you can’t improve tactically, you may as well get fitter. We will usually do double-sessions. The morning training usually consists of a combination of small-sided games and running drills, so there is an element of fun… until your legs choose to give up on you, and you’re internally begging for the final whistle. The afternoon sessions are usually in the gym, a combination of upper and lower body exercises. The ‘uppers’ aren’t usually an issue for the lads, its never too early to work on the beach body. However, doing ‘legs’ after a tough session (or a ‘beasting’ as we call it in football) is not the nicest thing you can put your body through. Whilst not trying to complain too much, I’d rather being doing what I do than any other job, which helps drive you on.
The good thing about international breaks is that the building has more relaxed vibe with no upcoming game on the weekend and any previous result is parked until we can review it with the full squad. Having double sessions adds to the fun, as the waiting around for the second session gives lads a lot of time to banter each other about anything and everything. The changing room is the harshest playground you could ever step into, so you need to have thick skin and be armed with a comeback or you will sink very early.
Today’s banter heavily included Alex Pearce. He wasn’t the provider of the banter, he was the unfortunate recipient. With the new IOS 12 update bringing new emojis to our keyboards, there was the introduction of the strawberry blonde…who am I kidding!? A ginger haired emoji. Whilst the training group was out on the pitch working hard, an creative unknown took the opportunity to put up several posters of the emoji around the training ground. Including on Alex’s locker and a giant A2 sized poster on his windscreen. Luckily knowing each other so well, the culprit knew it would be taken in the right way by Alex.
I’ll keep you posted if the offender is brave enough to rear their head and allow Alex to produce a comeback.