WEEK ONE – PART ONE
By Ger O'Brien
First of all I would like to say how happy I am to be at the club for the coming season.
I know it's an old cliché, especially used by a certain famous international captain, but I am getting a chance to play for my boyhood team.
I've always supported St Pats and those who know me well will know how happy I am to sign for the club.
I have been asked to keep a diary of our pre-season training as we prepare for the new season ahead.
Last Wednesday (11th January) the squad met up for a kind of meet and greet.
Liam wanted to introduce his staff to the squad and vice versa.
Liam has brought in a tremendous backroom team.
In Trevor Croly we have one of if not the best coaches in the country and the squad are hugely looking forward to working with him and Liam for the year.
Tim Dalton has come in as goalkeeping coach.
He has previously worked for the club and from talking to Brendan and Barry, both are really happy with the appointment.
Behind the scenes can be very important for any team. Liam has also brought on board Paul Hall, a strength and conditioning coach, and after only a few sessions down he has already left his mark with us (more on that later)!
Dave Campbell will be our scout and our head of player recruitment. Now as a Pats fan I know some will remember what happened all those years ago but having worked with Dave and seen his work at Sporting Fingal he will be very important for the club this season.
Graeme Buckley will look after the video analysis.
Liam is very professional and wants to give us the best chance possible and with this kind of information available to us it can only help.
Our medical team will be Christy O'Neill and Stephen Coyle who will be looking after the players needs throughout the season.
This is a vital area for any club.
Players need to be on the pitch and these lads will be doing their best to ensure this happens.
Finally Derek Haines will be our kit man this season.
Again having worked with Derek at Fingal he is very good at his job and the players will be well looked after with him.
Training – Friday
Pre-season is a mixed time of the season for players.
On one hand it's the toughest time of year and on the other you are itching to get back playing again.
Hand on heart this has the makings of one of the most exciting squads in the league in recent years.
We started last Friday in Scribblestown. Right from the word go there was a great atmosphere.
It was a very sharp session all football, plenty of crossing and shooting and some games with really high intensity.
On the crossing, I'll get this out of the way early. I went to cross the ball with my right foot, left foot was getting jealous and decided it wanted a game, touched the ball just before I connected with me right foot and the outcome was a swing a miss.
The lads found it very funny and so did I to be fair. To have that dressing room banter back again was great. It was just a pity it was me at the brunt of it this time.
Training – Saturday
We were back on the pitch again Saturday and same as Friday it was all ball work.
Training was tougher though than the previous day.
Trevor's sessions are so enjoyable but are so intense at the same time; you get plenty of work done as it goes on.
Nothing major from the lads on Saturday although Clarkie and Baz were claiming victory with the shooting.
Both were in great form to be fair to them but as James Chambers said “it's a long season lads”.
Day off on Sunday
Training – Monday
Monday we started our strength and conditioning training. If anyone out there has ever heard of ‘the prowler' they will already be gulping.
Some of us were ok having done it before but for some of the poor lads it was a real shock to the system.
Won't name any names this time they will get a free pass but It is something we will have to grasp quickly as it isn't going to get any easier. Legs were like jelly. This was the toughest of the three to date.
We're off on Tuesday to prepare for testing on Wednesday.
From now on I will get up some entries on Tuesday and Friday.
As I said already it's an exciting time to be a player at the club and I'm sure it's the same for the fans.
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