Arsenal Gap Year Part 1 - GDM Club. Manica, Mozambique travel blog

It had been raining all night so it was no surprise to hear training had been cancelled. I then fell unconscious for a couple of hours until lunch and was in for a treat when I saw sudza, fish and tomato soup before me on the table.

The rain was chucking it down all day and at least this festering blister, I had picked up, wouldn't be agitated by the diamond hard ground.

Off To The Races

Afternoon training was a good, solid workout which began with coach Miguel telling us this session would be 50 minutes.

It began with the usual stretching circle (where one person demonstrates in the middle and the others copy) with a change of stretch being indicated by the demonstrator clapping twice.

The coach then set up 4 lines of cones and hurdles with each line offering a different activity. The first involved jumping two footed over the hurdles then sprinting to a player at the end of the line. This end person had a football and you had to head it back to them when they threw it. I then had to side-step in a zig-zag pattern backwards until you reached the cones or hurdles. This second part in which you sprint, head the ball back and side-step backwards zig-zag style was in every line. It was only the first part that differed in each line.

The second line involved continuous squat jumps, the third line consisted of alternating one legged jumps and the fourth line incorporated side stepping through the cones.

After this we moved onto flat out 100m sprints formed by sprinting down a 50m track touching a cone and sprinting 50m back. We paired up and luckily (or I like to believe more clever strategic placing by me haha) I was paired with Shishone. Depending on how you look at it I was both lucky and unlucky. This was because he had knackered himself with the last exercise and was visibly all over the place, however he is also one of the fastest players on the team. When we finally got down to racing of the 3 times we raced I at least won 2 and I think the other was a draw which was 1 up for my ego. In the words of Van Donkey 'how do you like them apples!'.

We then did a cool down with the usual lap jog and some light dynamic stretches.

On the lap jog Ruben burst into song and everyone followed suit singing and clapping along. I loved it and was bouncing round with a grin like the Cheshire cat. Even though I didn't understand what they were singing I just bellowed along. Any other time I would've looked like a nutter and for our reward we got a moody kenan and kel inspired orangeade each.

For dinner we wolfed down Mama's classic rice and beans although I was so hungry I was still considering Vumba Lodge. As a treat I went and bought a strawberry milkshake, Cadbury’s whole nut chocolate bar and raisins from the 24hr shop opposite the club.

Later that evening I worked in the computer room on a fixture list and timetable for the first ever Arsenal-GDM youth tournament! It was scheduled to be played at the training ground the next day. I then worked on this online journal adding a few entries.

My arms and chest were aching from our workout in the gym 2 days before and I felt like I had been clamped in a straight jacket. My exact words before we went gym that day were 'we don't want to do too much to the point where we can't move.' Err bit late for that now, we'd macho'd out and were walking around with stiff arms and a throbbing chest.

I slotted into bed at 12ish ready for the big tournament (torneio).

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