Lowestoft warm up with Canaries
Michael Bailey Lowestoft Town have taken the professional route as part of their preparations for Saturday's historic FA Vase semi-final against Whitley bay at Crown Meadow.
Lowestoft Town have taken the professional route as part of their preparations for Saturday's historic FA Vase semi-final against Whitley bay at Crown Meadow.
Rather than turning out at the own ground, churning up their own pitch ahead of the weekend fixture, the Trawlers Boys swapped their usual coastal surroundings for the relative shelter of Norwich City's academy arena at their Colney training ground after the Coca-Cola Championship side agreed to put their Ridgeons League neighbours through their paces.
Having supported the Canaries for years through his own company, Lowestoft Town chairman Geoff Price asked the club if they could offer the Blues an incentive for getting past Concord Rangers in the quarter-finals of the Vase.
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The result was Tuesday's rigorous session and two happy Lowestoft managers, although they were not about to acknowledge any difference to the usual Lowestoft training regime compared to that put on by the Canaries' sports scientist Dave Carolan.
“Not one bit, it would be exactly the same, except were in a massive dome,” joked Town's joint manager Ady Gallagher. “It is fantastic of Norwich to put this on for us, particularly Dave Carolan who gave up his time to do the session and we really do appreciate it. It's a nice diversion away from Saturday really. It's just a nice experience for the players.”
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The two hour session on a freezing Tuesday night was lapped up by the Blues squad, who a one, two-legged semi-final away from their first ever appearance in a Wembley final.
Carolan put the part-timers through their paces with a rigorous training session, including close ball work, agility exercises and finishing in front of goal.
“It was really good; I really enjoyed it,” said Town midfielder Jamie Godbold. “It was fantastic, great facilities and we really appreciate what they've done for us, letting us come in here and use Dave as well for a couple of hours. It was something different for us so hopefully he can come and do it more often for us if Norwich aren't too busy!
“It was more physical. He's a sport scientist, so he works a lot on that kind of thing, more on speed and looking after your body than maybe the technical stuff that we do. But that will stand us in good stead for Saturday, fingers crossed.”
Centre-back Neil Plaskett added: “It's nice of them to offer it to us and it's a bonus for getting this far in the competition that we get to use facilities like this rather than training outside in the freezing cold.
“We're normally outside on the pitch we use, or at a school we use. We normally do an hour's session, go home and watch the telly, so we'll all be a little more tired after today's session.”
But Carolan believed the session would help Lowestoft's build up ahead of Saturday's big match.
“It was a great night. I really enjoyed it, both on a personal level and I think they did,” said Carolan. “All the sessions we did, and we did some reasonably intricate stuff at the end, they did it excellently and hopefully the confidence they showed in their finishing at the end will be carried on into Saturday.”