Entry 7: August 10
Back at it....
By now we're all rested up and getting prepped for our next game in two days. Supposedly, this will be the toughest, and we are very excited to send a strong Irish message to the Scots.
Yesterday was a long day of rest. We all got to see tons of wonderful things, all depicting a very unique Scottish culture. The day did get a rough start, though; we rose early in hopes of getting a jog/stretch/NorthSea activity out of the way to the leave plenty of time for other things. At 7:30 a.m., Aberdeen can be very chilly and, with a stiff wind, the light morning exercise was more like torture. The Boss led the jog down to the beach, and it was evident that in his 17 youthful years as an Aberdeen boy, he had not once before traveled this way to the beach; we ended up taking what could have been the worst possible trails, ankle deep in water and trudging through mud and sand.
Needless to say, The Boss thought it was "quite nice"! The rain came pelting down, and we did our stretches, just knowing in the back of our minds that Ol' Bobby would change his mind about the 20 minutes in the water to help the legs recover. But, true to form, nothing phases the old man, not even 40-degree rain, and we waded in and chanced it with hypothermia and pneumonia.
Throughout the day, boys played golf on the Scottish links, which didn't prove to be so friendly, traveled the buses in and out of town, and got to know some of Scotland's more typical city life. The town of Aberdeen is outstanding, with great architecture and an interesting layout. We all had a great time and a restful day off.
But, as I said, today we are back at it. Up in the morn for an early breakfast and then off to train. We stopped on the way to the field in what has become a comfortable video room (where we would convene once more late night) to watch a 30-minute session on defensive shape. We had a good practice and all seem to be anxious for the Aberdeen game to be played on Monday.
The event for the day was an afternoon watching a pro game from the Scottish Premier League. Coach's old club, Aberdeen was the hometown favorite against the defending champion of the league, Celtic. The day was beautiful, and the game turned out to be an excellent lesson for our boys on several levels. Celtic handed Aberdeen a 4-0 thrashing in an entertaining match, if one was watching as a Celtic fan.
We took from this that the Aberdeen players are not superhuman, and all the hype surrounding our upcoming game against their reserves is nothing so strong, at least not so strong that we won't be able to compete. There was also a small scuffle between two Aberdeen players that broke out after a goal was given up; they acted in a very childish manner, and it was good that our boys could see that lesson unfold right in front of us.
The true excitement came at halftime when, after mysteriously disappearing, Bobby Clark reappeared in the center of the field. His old club was honoring him as one of 25 "Aberdeen Legends". It was no ordinary event that the legend came back and sat with us for the second half, nor was it ordinary that the boys saw a painting of him in a shop window in town yesterday!!
Tonite we finished up with a pizza over Clark Criticism - reviewing the gametape from our last match. We saw plenty of things we'd like to make better, and we're looking forward to the time when we can on Monday.
Poor Chad has lost his wallet. We're all looking for it, and he'd appreciate it if y'all took a look around as well. In our quest for the pound-filled pocket-book...
May the Luck of the Irish Be with Us!!
- Greg Martin -