In early January Oakham’s U18 football team enjoyed three days of intensive fitness and tactical training at Carrington, the training ground of Division One Club Bury.
Sixth former Jack took part in the Oakham’s first ever pre-season football tour.
‘After arriving at Carrington, we began our first training session, consisting mainly of a long warm-up and small drills such as ‘El Rondo’. However, we reviewed the session and agreed that the quality and intensity was not at the level it needed to be and an improvement was required in the afternoon. After having a meal in the canteen and taking a tour of the training ground, we were soon back on the training pitch working on further passing and finishing drills. At the end of a long day travelling and training (with a topping of fitness courtesy of Mr Tratt) we headed to the gym to warm down and then recover using contrast baths (alternating between hot and cold baths). After arriving at the hotel and checking in to our rooms, we had the opportunity to use the pool facilities (sauna, hot tub, etc.) before having tea and watching the Spurs vs Chelsea game.
The second day was very similar in structure to the first, and we also had the opportunity to watch Bury’s first team train just before lunch, which was very interesting, as it gave us all an insight into the level of intensity and skill required to be a professional footballer. After the dreaded fitness-recovery combo, we returned to the hotel to relax and enjoy a delicious meal.
On the final day, we gained the chance to put into practice what we had learnt by way of tactics in an 11 v 11 match. Overall, the trip was a very rewarding experience for all involved as it enabled the players to blow away the cobwebs from the Christmas period and prepare for the demanding season ahead.’
Mr Jon Andrews, coach of the U18 football squad, commented: “The pre-season at Carrington was an awesome opportunity for the players to experience life in and around a professional football club. The three days on the training ground have allowed us to work on fitness, technical and tactical preparation for the season ahead. It was a pleasure for the coaches to take the lads away as their work rate, conduct and company were first-class.”