Monday saw the hardest training day for the players so far – one football session followed by an intense fitness session, then a gym session and finally pool-exercise session.
The players did look absolutely shattered after such rigorous workouts so we took them to Vilamoura (pictured) for a night out, a tourist complex on the Algarve with plenty of restaurants and entertainment on hand. This is their only night out allowed during the week and they all made it back to HQ by the allotted midnight deadline, thereby avoiding the steely gaze of Macca who had threatened to man the door with clipboard and checklist!
The lads were in fine spirits, ‘singing’ on the way home though their dulcet tones failed to identify any credible candidates for the X Factor. Clearly fancying himself as some sort of ‘fifth Beatle’ given the place of his birth, John-Paul Kissock’s rendition of Oasis’ Wonderwall attracted plenty of interest – but it was really only from the local canine population.
Meanwhile, our squad’s injury crisis of 2014/15 looks to be repeating itself – but only to our off-field contingent. Vice chairman Peter Varney was attended to by the medical team for the second time in a week (you may remember his tennis incident when he came a cropper against Stacy Long) after being handed the bill in Il Lamparo restaurant and was quickly in need of gas, air, sedation and a bigger budget. In the same incident, Daryl McMahon showed a turn of pace not seen since he was 21 years of age as he quickly scarpered, leaving a visibly paling Peter Varney in his wake.
Medical intervention didn’t stop there, however, as Peter Danzey ended the night abandoned on the hotel reception floor with his legs in the air (now there’s a mental image…) after missing his step while wishing some players goodnight. Fortunately, the nimble former Gravesend Leaguer remains in tip-top shape and his natural athleticism and almost gymnast-like poise prevented any serious injury.
The club secretary was at pains to point out, contrary to scurrilous rumour from many of the players, that as a non-drinker his fall was not down to over-imbibing and the only real damage was to an already tarnished reputation.