Halfway through the Germany Tour 2022 and it was the day before our first game against Stuttgart. Peter Gilham was on hand to sum up the somewhat relaxed day four in the Black Forest.
With Friday being the day before a match, the program revealed to everyone that once breakfast was over, the players would benefit from a morning without training after the exceptional efforts of yesterday afternoon. Although with some recovery work.
Players were split into two groups for a short mobility session in the gym followed by a walk around part of the hotel’s 45-hole golf course. Needless to say the walk did not involve golf clubs and bags. Then, the opportunity to recover with a trip to the swimming pool for all.
This break from a morning training session gave me the opportunity to take stock with the Kit Logistics team, Bob Oteng, ably assisted by Luke Newton and Josh Hiller.
Kit Logistics is a world apart and further emphasizes that each member of the off-field team is an integral member of the first-team team, with all aspects crucial to the smooth running of the operation.
Today, the three-man team (apart from the day-to-day operation of returning players and staff to training and general wear twice a day) was preparing all the kit for the game against VfB Stuttgart.
This obviously includes warm-up clothes and match kit, like of course shirts, shorts, socks, briefs. But it’s fair to say that things aren’t that simple, as most, if not all, players have their own idiosyncrasies. Whether long, short, cut, cut, new, used, grip socks. The list continues. Each player’s needs are prepared and allocated accordingly. Similarly, some players will wear briefs, cycling shorts and others who will wear both.
Then, of course, it comes down to which shoes belong to which players as they are collected after training and then cleaned and ready for use in the next session.
In truth, I’ve only touched the tip of the iceberg when it comes to Kit Logistics, but their professionalism and careful preparation are key to successful player performances.
After lunch, medical preparation began at 3 p.m. followed quickly by a late afternoon training session. Luckily for the players, it lacked the intense heat of the day before.
Training camp suffered its first casualty yesterday afternoon, but it wasn’t one of the players. Dan from our content team – now almost certainly Instagram famous for his spectacular control of a soccer ball that was just thrown over the target in training – fell and injured himself in the shoulder ! He can now be seen wearing a fairly large scarf, given to him by doctors at the local hospital here in southern Germany.
Other than that, there’s not much else to report tonight. I can, however, reveal that it has been decided (by the players themselves) that there will be a litany of covers of already well-known songs, to be played over two nights (Sunday and Monday). The nine lucky “performers” will be players who have not yet “sung” on overnight trips in the past 12 months. Ride Tuesday!