Friday, 31 July 2009

Running scared?

Reflecting on Burridge's pre season training so far.....



Not all Burridge players enjoy running. Paul Andrews certainly doesn't. A three mile run could put his back out for weeks, but so could a walk down the shops. He along with over half the twenty man squad are over 30 years old, so when this year's pre-season training concentrated on short sprints, instead of long runs along Netley's stony beach, there was a collective sigh of relief. With a month of training now under their belts, Burridge have 8 pre-season games in 24 days, before the start of the Drew Smith Southampton League season.

As always, optimism at the club is rife. What it's actually based on isn't entirely clear. Finishing one place above the relegation zone last season was in stark contrast to the runners-up spot the sport's pages of the Southern Daily Echo had predicted. Players at the club have never been shy in sharing their personal expectations for the season ahead. Anyone banking on them ever coming to pass runs the risk of dying disappointed.

When Bryn Schwodler, returning to the club two years ago after a spell at Romsey Town, said he was going to take the Southampton League by storm, it was assumed that he meant by some energetic displays on the wing, and perhaps a handful of goals, rather than an 84 day suspension from the Hampshire FA , for reacting to his sending off against BTC by throwing a chewed wad of Wrigley's gum in the direction of the referee's goatee beard.

Exactly how fit the squad is remains to be seen. While improvements in fitness have been made, in well attended training sessions, some players have been totally spent of their energies when it gets to the six inch leg lifts. This exercise involves lying flat on your back and lifting both legs together six inches into the air for various intervals of time. Those who've been able to do this exercise have withstood it for longer periods of time as the weeks have gone on, with some now able to keep up with manager Pete Lyons. He is 53 years old.

Press-ups force upon each player an unwelcome insight into the most personal aspect of their colleague's private lives. Players are lined up closely together, lifting themselves off the low wooden fenced perimeter of Netley country park. Arms shake as they push themselves up straight, while contorted facial expressions give way to barely contained grunts of toil on each unsteady thrust. Many player's partners have recently given birth, or are due to. Faced with this grisly display of press-ups, one is left to assume that conceiving a child is far more straight forward than some people would have you believe.

Training is always finished with a match. Any of the dog walkers unfortunate enough to witness one of these games would have legitimate reason to believe that an adult game of statues was taking place, such is the amount of time the ball is lost in thick thorn branches. The league's decision to make the senior division larger means more games. Taking into account the upcoming friendlies and cup games, Burridge could play up to forty matches in 2009/10. Any players wanting to be in contention to play in a significant number of these games will need to remain fit. A spot of running could well do the trick.

12 comments:

Gorilla Bananas said...

A referee with a goatee beard deserves to have gum rubbed in it. Why no tribute to Sir Bobby Robson, you ingrate? Where would your Schwodlers and Plodlers be without him?

Emerson Marks said...

Morning GB,

Good old Bobby Robson. I remember the little jig he did during Italia 1990. And his rueful face in Turin when Chris Waddle skied his penalty. He knew we (England) were a gnat's cock away from that World Cup final.

I'll be back later. We've got a 10am kick off this morning.

Jimmy Bastard said...

I still get excited at the beginning of the pre-season training sessions.
It's something I've always kept up and can still put a fair distance between me and a few cocky 18 yr olds during circuit training.

I will admit however, these days I much prefer to warm up by climbing the stairs to my reserved seats at my beloved Parkhead.

Bring it on ya basts!

Lulu LaBonne said...

Do you need a bus load of sharp-tongued women to descend on Burridge and taunt you all into doing more and better press ups?

Leah said...

It does all sound very exciting!

And I'm still laughing over what Lulu said. I can certainly offer my services for that one.

Scarlet-Blue said...

The girls are on top.
Sx

Madame DeFarge said...

I'm with Lulu and the girls. But this all sounds far too energetic for a social pastime. Do you have to take it this seriously?

Emerson Marks said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Emerson Marks said...

Girls are always welcome at Burridge!

You make an interesting point, Madame.

After all it's only a game.

But once you've committed your Saturday afternoons to playing every week rain and shine, you kind of have to take it seriously, if you thought about it too long you'd realise just how silly the whole thing is.

Plus, there's 20 lads in the squad, and only 11 can play at a time, so if you don't take it seriously, someone else will do it for you!

One of the great things about playing sport is that when you're playing it, you totally immersed into that very moment. All problems and worries disappear for that 90 minutes.

Some people need a physical and competitive outlet to express themselves, and get plenty of satisfaction from doing so.

**look at Jimmy's comment above as an example.**

Without that outlet I'm not sure what some people would do. I'd probably go on an all night drunk and walk down the road to Southampton docks and join the crew of the next shrimp farming ship to Rio.

Sport also offers a good social side.

Quite a few of the lads have known each since they were kids, and now tehy're moving in different directions, getting married, having kids and working all over the place. You know what it's like: I must see 'so and so,' but you never do, and you drift apart. Football's the glue that keeps us all together, giving everybody the a chance to see each other once a week.

We always have a beer after.

And obviously, I always ham everything up on here to the 9th degree, but hey that's just me!

Eryl Shields said...

Get them each a mini trampoline and then with a bit of disco playing loud get them bouncing for a good half hour, once they can do that without any trouble add weights: it worked for me. Actually I could come down and show you.

Jimmy Bastard said...

Fitba will always be more important than life or death. It's 90 minutes of the best sex of your life.

Leah said...

I'm sold.

Looking back (bringing back the blog)

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