FINDING your feet is something every new/young player always has on the back of their minds when joining a new team. You dream of having that picture perfect start, that you’ve envisioned in your mind the night before. Sometimes that happens, and other times it doesn’t. This was what was going on in my mind, the night before my first training session on Thursday.
Waiting around for almost six days just to train wasn’t exactly the most exciting thing for a player like me, who was eager to start. But I knew that I couldn’t touch a ball until all of my tests came back safe.
Even though I had waited for a while, I knew that the work I had done leading up to my travels would help me immensely. My first training was at 7.30am, so that meant waking up at 6am to eat breakfast, get ready and get to the pitch 45 minutes before we started. That morning, it felt like I had never left the field. My touch was crisp, my finishing was great and I felt like I still had my confidence.
We then had a second training session in the afternoon, at 2.30pm. By then I was feeling a little stiff after the morning session, so what I had to do between the morning and afternoon session was key. I kept up my hydration, ate a good meal, did some light stretching and got some rest. During the afternoon session we worked on our defensive shape and transitioning from attacking to defence. Even though the terminology was quite different, I still was able to grasp the idea behind the session. After the session we ran 10 tempo runs (100 metre sprints, with a 60 second rest between), they were very difficult especially after the two full sessions that day, but it was necessary in order for me to get fitter and better!
Friday, it was my 19th Birthday. I was fortunate enough that we had an off day, so I had the time to call my family back home. I spent my day with my roommates, where we enjoyed the sunset and went to see our college basketball team play before heading to bed to prepare for Saturday’s practice.
So far, I’m really enjoying my time here, both on the field and off the field. Next week we prepare for our first match together, which is a practice game versus a local college William Carey University at 5pm local time. An event that I’m really looking forward to!