We get a final update on training in Tenerife from Craig Hignett - plus, the Pools boss reveals details of a prank played on the staff by the players!
Hello and welcome to my final diary entry from our training camp in Tenerife.
I have to start by saying that I think that this has been a brilliant week for the players. We’ve had a really good period of work and I am really pleased with everything. The lads have really put it in and worked hard and you can see them getting fitter and sharper every day.
We worked them really hard on Friday with a double session focussed on the defensive side of the game. It gave us the opportunity to work on defending as a unit as well as some clearance work and 1 v 1 play which we returned to in the afternoon session.
We’re building on things bit by bit really and making sure that we’re ready in all departments when the season kicks-off so the work we’ve been able to get through this week has been fantastic. I feel like the new lads in the squad are getting to know how we play now and what type of football team we are.
A big highlight for everyone yesterday was when a family from Hartlepool who now live in Tenerife turned up to watch us train. It was great to see that there are Poolies out here spreading the word so I want to thank the O’Rourkes for taking time to come and see us – and happy 15th birthday to Kieran for Sunday!
We were back in training bright and early this morning too. We always had planned that Saturday’s morning session would be a tough one – it was deliberate because it’s the only session of the day and they will have two days off to recover.
The circuit work we did with the balls this morning is one that I have done myself in the past – and I can tell you it’s a very, very hard one. It’s the kind of exercise you don’t look forward to as a player but thankfully most of them didn’t know what was coming! It was a real leg-burner but to get that work in to them will be a big benefit.
There were a few moans and groans here and there because of how tough the work was this morning but that’s only to be expected. When you’re tired you start making a few mistakes and get frustrated – the fact mistakes do annoy them shows that we have the right types of character so I don’t mind that.
Finally, I have to reveal that we had an incident in the hotel overnight when somebody played a prank on our Physio, Buster and the Kit Man, Martyn Brown. They’re sharing a room and when they returned to it last night, somebody had been in and moved both of their beds on to the balcony – though admittedly, the beds were still made-up perfectly out there! As well as that, they had used cushions and some of their clothes to make two ‘men’ who they sat at a table in the space where their beds had been!
Obviously the staff have worked the players very hard this week so it would appear this was a revenge attack – because Buster and Marty had to work hard themselves to put the room straight when they got in!
I have to say it was a very imaginative prank and I think the pictures pay testament to the effort and thought that somebody has put in to it! I know Buster and Marty have a long list of suspects but, as yet, nobody has owned up! The investigation continues…
Anyway, that’s all for my updates from Tenerife – I look forward to seeing as many of you as possible at Victoria Park on Wednesday when we play our first home pre-season friendly against Sunderland.