A service announcement for coaches up and down the country. We implore you to heed these warnings from your players.
The ten excuses that players can roll out to try and avoid winter training.
*Add more of your own as you think of them.
Weights will only slow you down
We've all seen those slight, speedy and skillful players who were once brimming with promise. That was before their greedy manager started fantasising about the kind of player he'd have if only the young man would add bulk to his makeup.
A month of slaving away in the gym and the young man would return transformed. Slow, leaden footed and muscle bound, he was a ghost of the player that lit up the championship last year.
Our friend is not going down the same road. Tell the manager he can shove his weight programme.
Don't want to burn up too soon in the year
Lookit, you need to be peaking come late September, not in blooming January!
Running on hard pavement is bad for the shins and calves
Sound physical advice here. This obviously presumes that your manager will have arranged for you to jog across country roads. Rather than the actual pitch.
Running on wet ground only drags the legs out of you
Likewise. It's clear that the conditions have to be just right.
"Drags the legs out of you", by the way, is the exact scientific term used to describe the adverse effects of running on wet ground.
We already have a base fitness from last year
A dubious claim perhaps that usually shot down with some alacrity by the more demanding coaches. Teams who had a long season and an exhaustive winter training programme last year may not have the stomach for it again this year. Surely, last year will still stand to them regardless of Christmas indulgences.
Don't want make a show of ourselves
This excuse is the preserve of teams who don't waste their time dreaming big dreams. They're worried that a fifth successive first round exit in the championship will be harder to laugh off if outsiders know that they've been training like dogs since the start of the year. Much better to leave the impression that you lost because you don't give a toss.
January is a time for team bonding
A niche and rather ambitious excuse which is likely to be given short shrift by coaches, no matter how relaxed. Team bonding will be correctly understood as a euphemism for "drinking".
In which case, January is most certainly not a time for team bonding. There is no month less associated with drinking.
January is a time when we should be working on our mental fitness. According to Enda McNulty, that's just as important (lie if necessary)
The gold standard. A dynamite excuse. Plucking out Enda McNulty's name will win you special kudos unless your coach is of the old school and admires the newspaper columns of Joe Brolly.
It's important to note that Enda may not have said those words. But to your coach's untrained (hopefully) ears, it will sound like the kind of thing Enda has said.
Of course, the danger here is that the coach might take this advice to heart and arrange f0ur hours long sessions in the company of a sports psychologist. Is not shitty weather physical training but could you sit through that?
Pitch is in shite/is dangerous
The weather over the winter can play havoc with any surface. The coach will likely tell you that he's inspected the surface and it is grand. You will have to go out on a limb and disagree with his assessment. Maybe back it up to introducing a niggling injury which makes you nervous of the ground.
I've been reading a lot of Joe Brolly articles and now have an ideological objection towards training too hard in the winter
This excuse will likely get you banished from the first team from now until eternity.