OCTOBER 2003 - DARSLEY PARK
Steven Carr
A chance not to be missed. An invitation from first team coach John Carver to take in a training session at Darsley Park. As the players arrived, parked their cars and headed off for breakfast, Jamie and I were given a tour of the training complex. Impressive to say the least, the complex housed a reception area, changing rooms, managers office, meeting rooms, a gymnasium and physiotherapy centre, along with a restaurant and recreational area for the players.
Next up we headed for the training pitches just in time to catch Sir Bobby Robson bringing the players out for a session. Seeing first hand the enthusiasm of a seventy year old as he ensured his instructions were understood by the players was an experience in itself. Meanwhile, John Carver and his team of coaches oversaw sprint training whilst the keepers headed off for specialist goalkeeping coaching.
Training finished with an eleven a side game giving the players one last opportunity to push for a place in the about to be announced match day squad. Throughout the day the players and staff were a credit to the club with everyone happy to take time out to sign autographs and pose for photographs with young Jamie. Special thanks to Shay Given, Steve Harper, Craig Bellamy and of course Alan Shearer.