Back to work
"Bloody dog wankers,” said Paul Andrews (left) after examining the sole of his shoe. It was 8:15pm and he along with 15 others had slogged their guts out during Burridge's first pre-season training session. Andrews' work wasn't done yet. He dragged a twig up and down the gripped sole of his trainer, trying to dislodge the clay brown soil left by a dog for his size 12 Adidas to mistakedly sink firmly into. Burridge gaffer, Pete Lyons, had his players charging up grassy slopes and carrying each other on their backs along the shore of the Solent for almost 2 hours. The water was still. On it sat the car transporter, the Tagus, thats giant orange hulk was unable to draw any attention away from Lee Fielder, who arrived dressed in long sleeved skin tight black lycra.
12 decked, 5,500 car capacity transport container, unable to take attention away from Fielder's lycra.
He reacted quickly to the jeers his team mates greeted him with by saying that the reason they couldn't wear a top like his was because they were fat bastards. While this may be true, the main thing preventing anyone else coming to training dressed like a contestant on 'Dancing on Ice' had more to do with fashion sense. Burridge were joined by former players Paul Dyke and Ben Wilson, as well as Luke Sanderson, who 3 months ago had gone into the Royal South Hants hospital for a routine arthroscope to remove some floating cartilage in his left knee. He left on crutches having been told by the physio that he'd never play football again. After a month spent peddling away on an exercise bike to strengthen the muscles around his partially torn anterior cruciate ligament, the only evidence of the injury was the plain white tubigrip he wore around his knee.
(Above: furthest left of the 3 with arms folded, Luke Sanderson)
Sam Hewitt's recorded the fasted time around the park's chapel in 33 seconds, over 7 seconds quicker than some of his team mates. Had those surprised at his speed been to the gym as often as Hewitt has lately, perhaps they might have surprised themselves. The biggest sigh of the night came when Pete Lyons announced that one of Burridge's pre season friendlies would be against VTFC under 18's, who won all four of the competitions they entered last season, without losing a single game. Marc Judd laughed to himself on the grass while smoking a cigarette. He would be on holiday that week and miss that game. Not many others will be so lucky.