Saturday, 8 January 2011

Back in the saddle

Burridge returned to training on Thursday 6th January, bringing with them an enthusiasm, although given the Christmas break perhaps not a high level of fitness.

Lee Fielder hunched over the low wooden picket fence that separates the pathway leading to the astroturf at Hamble School from a bunch of fragile looking shrubbery, and tried to vomit. Hearing the dry heave from behind him, Ryan Hurst turned around, “You alright, mate?” He asked, all the while being sure to keep his distance. “I've definitely got a puke in me,” said Lee, his eyes fixed downwards towards the wet grass. We had just finished our first training session of 2011, after a fortnight off over Christmas and New Year. Manager, Paul Dyke, had put us through a gruelling session, with circuit runs around half of a full size pitch, whereby he'd call out a number between one and four, in relation to the number of sides of the pitch he wanted us to sprint around. We did this exercise for what seemed a very long time. It was in fact for ten minutes.

Further circuit training continued, on each exercise Dyke would periodically glance at his stop watch, assuring us that we were nearly done. Of course, all this running around is for our own good. Even here, in the depths of the thirteenth tier of the English football pyramid system, a good level of fitness is paramount, especially seeing as many of our bellies were still full from the excess food and drink of the Christmas holidays.

This session was the first in my new yellow and green Adidas Adi-5 trainers, the colour of which were described by some manufacturers as lemon fizz and fairway green. This was topped off with a bright yellow snood, the much maligned piece of clothing worn around the neck by some Premier League footballers to keep warm. To my surprise, these two items drew less attention than my new dark turquoise Umbro shorts, that I found whilst scouring the sale racks at JJB's warehouse outlet in Southampton. Despite being medium boys' size, with an inner pant lining, I managed to squeeze into them quite snugly; or so I thought. Kristian Hewitt wasn't impressed. He said I looked like Mr Motivator, the fitness instructor who became famous for his daily appearances on the breakfast television show GMTV, dressed in skin tight and highly colourful spandex. I insisted that the tightness of the short was the style. Kristian wasn't convinced.

Reward for our hard work was the end of session six-a-side game. Dyke granted us a few moments to traipse behind the goal and fish out refreshments from our sports bags. I reached into my battered old black ruck sack and pulled out a plastic bottle filled with almost a litre of Asda's orange and mango juice, which was enough to make Joe Hill, stood behind me in a black Southampton shirt, that was letting off more steam than a Corby trouser press, to pretty much beg me for a sip. I obliged. Two full calendar months have now passed without a Burridge game, for which every player is chomping at the bit for.

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Scarlet Blue said...

...and was Lee Fielder wearing spandex... just vaguely curious...

I hope he is better now.

Madame DeFarge said...

Mr Motivator was quite a sex symbol in his day. With a fair wind, it could happen to you too.

Mark Sanderson said...

I think he probably was, Scarlet. With a fair wind, Madame, perhaps; but I will say again, the shorts really weren't that tight.

Leah said...

Had to google Mr Motivator. And now I know.

Enjoyed the sartorial update.

Mark Sanderson said...

Hello Leah, I reaaly ought to have set a hyperlink to Mr Motivator!

Looking back (bringing back the blog)

I haven't posted here since 2012 – that’s five years of not blogging. The blog is/was about Burridge AFC, the football team I played f...