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St Andrews Diary: Day Four

Day four is all about match preparation for tomorrows game, with a gruelling double session for the players.

The morning is a carousel session, with both teams combining and splitting in to three groups. 

Trevor Challis, the Under-18s manager, leads a crossing and shooting drill. The players are required to be in a position where they may find them self in a game. For example, James Morton sends a diagonal ball from the middle of the pitch to Ash Harper wide on the right who delivers a cross to Cam Allen to finish in the middle.

Alex Ball works on keeping possession and moving the opposition in small sided games on a small pitch with small games as well. There’s also a floater involved to give the teams an overload on attack, forcing the defence to work.

The third session is run by Luke Williams, focusing on all round play. The players have to work the ball into an area and be able to stop it dead to score a goal.

After lunch its back out for the second session, with both teams having their eye on the games tomorrow, the Under-23s focusing on shape and moving the ball through the lines. The Under-18s concentrate on set pieces both attacking and defending.

The Under-18s are given a surprise however, when training finishes they're only told to meet at reception with a change of clothes and a towel! Little do they know there off to the most natural ice bath in the world, the Scottish sea. 

It turns in to a great bonding exercise for the staff and players with everyone getting in the sea, and the players throwing each other and having a laugh.

After 6 minutes Ricky Massiah decides enough is enough and gets everyone out, all the players are buzzing throwing a bit of banter about and coming together as a group.

After everyones warmed back up its time for dinner and a team meeting to get across the main points for tomorrows game.