Game Time - 28th Feb. 2013
After a grueling and long summer, pre-season was upon me and even more hard work was about to begin. Being absent from the team for basically 2 full seasons (10/11 and 11/12) meant there were plenty of new faces in training, but the majority consisted of the original lads who started off there. The first training session back was a typical British summer day. Pre-season training is always on a Saturday and usually lasts 2 to 3 hours depending how many people are available and what we're working on. Sometimes we just did fitness training and then had a small sided match, other times we'd practice set pieces, passing, shooting etc, it was always varied to keep everyone's attention.
We were quite light for the first 3 or 4 training sessions as most of the lads are on holiday in July and August but we still managed to put together a mixture of everything, the typical fitness, which felt 10 times more difficult than usual and I was lot less fit than I actually thought! I was obviously looking forward to the technical side of training, the actual playing of football, more than anything but it made me realise how far I still had to go, even though I had already progressed massively, the reality was that I was only half way down the road to recovery in football terms, which at the time was hard to take but made me more determined to keep going and push myself further.
One Of The Many Summer Days I Spent Training Myself
By now, August 2012, I was used to the knock-backs and realisations of having to work harder than I thought. It all started from when I was first told how severe my injury actually was, I expected to be out for around 12 months, maybe 15 months at the most but 18 months was proving a long, long time. Saying that, I had come a long way and 19 months after my injury would be a silly time to give up and it was probably a good time to realise how poor my fitness actually was with a couple of pre-season friendlies coming up.
We had 3 friendlies arranged, all on 3G surfaces which I was happy about. The now old style AstroTurf was where I intended on making my comeback but 3G turf is the more modern approach and has more "give" as such on your joints and obviously my knee and also doesn't have the stickiness and heaviness that grass would do. My actual return was on the same pitch that I injured myself on, something I planned on doing. Some people said I should actually avoid AstroTurf altogether but on professional advice it was said to do no harm so I followed the professionals and went in at the deep end as such.
The next post will go into more detail of my fitness regime as well as some updates on my game time and how we got on during pre-season as I finally return to competitive football and serious training! :)