In this week’s Coke Column, Giles describes ‘a week in the life of a professional footballer.’
Hi everyone, this week I thought I would give you a behind the scenes look at what goes on during my week, from training sessions to family life. I hope this will be of interest, especially to some of the younger players out there who are keen to understand what many professional footballers get up to on a daily basis.
My daily routine usually begins with getting up about 8.30am before heading in for training at about 9.30am. When I arrive at the ground some of the lads are grabbing a bit of breakfast but I usually have my cereal and toast at home. Everyone has to be in by 10am for a 10.30am start and if you arrive late you get a £10 fine. I wont tell you how many, if any fines I’ve got!
As soon as I get into training I get changed into my kit and go on the exercise bike for ten minutes to warm up. When you’re returning from such a long lay off, it’s obviously imperative to make sure all your muscles are warmed up properly. I’ll also often get a rub on my back or knee from the physios. The daily training sessions begin at 10.30am and though we work hard they’re really good fun. No two days are the same and the gaffer is very innovative in his thinking. We may do anything from possession games, crossing and finishing drills, games in grids. On a Monday, we normally finish training around 12.30pm, before having our lunch. Lunch can include anything from pasta and chicken, to curry and rice with loads of veggies. When the other lads have left I stay behind to work on my fitness by doing extra running with the physios. I’ll then head off to the gym to do some leg weights.
I’ll be back home between 3.30pm and 4pm, where I spend time with my partner and baby. Brad and Brett Johnson, Ian Henderson, and Mark Hughes, often come round for a game of Pro Evolution Soccer. I’ll then relax for the rest of the day, normally eating a stir fry, stew, salmon, pasta, or chicken, all served with vegetables for my dinner about 7pm. I head off to bed about 11pm.
Tuesday and Thursday are double session days. The morning will consist of a training session, often with a little game thrown in, finishing about midday. After lunch, we head off to the gym for 1.30pm where we get split into two groups. The first group does core body work with the physios, whilst the second group goes off with Jim Barron, the goalkeeping coach, to do upper body weights. After completing the session, the groups then swap over. The full session lasts an hour and a half.
Wednesday is a day off but not for me. I need to take every opportunity to train at the moment so I go in just before ten in the morning to work on my running with the physios. I go through various running drills and then head off to the gym to work on my legs in the afternoon. I’ll be home by 2pm.
Friday is a light session as we’re doing our final preparations for match day on Saturday. We’ll often do a squares game where eight players are in a box, two in the middle and six around the side. The six players have to keep possession of the ball while the two players in the middle close them down. We also have an 11 v 11 walk through game and do some set piece work. The lads who are involved on Saturday will then head off between 11.30am and 12pm to leave a mixture of youth team players and those not involved at the weekend to take part in a small training game. I find this really useful as the gaffer often takes me to one side to work on my running during the game, before slotting me back into the game.
Saturday is match day! I’m currently going in at about 11am, but this obviously depends if we have a home game or not. I’ll do some more running with the physios and then get changed into my suit for the game. The lads who are involved in the match will come in at 1.30pm. After the game, I’ll often head back to London to see my family or meet up with some of the lads. I try and keep Sunday as low key as possible. I have a bit of a lie in and get up to watch the football highlights in the morning. I’ll then take my daughter to the park or do a bit of shopping or have lunch with my family, before catching the sunday football match on TV.
Phew! Well that’s my week. Hopefully it will give you a bit of insight into what goes on in my world!
Hi Giles. I read in the Coke Column that you played in a reserve game a few weeks ago. Have you played in any games since and is there any further update on when you’ll be back? From Dave
Hi Dave. Yeah I played about 60 minutes a couple of weeks back against Southend. We were supposed to be playing last week against Stevenage but that was unfortunately called off as they had a Cup replay which clashed. We’ve got a reserve game at Peterborough next week so I’m hoping to be involved in that. Training is great, but there’s nothing like getting games under your belt to improve your match fitness. Hopefully after that game, we’ll all have a better idea of when I can start to challenge for the first team.
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