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Early start as flight left at 7.40 am. However to arrive in Spain to sunshine made getting up early worthwhile. Kids dived straight into the pool while Jane and I found the sunbeds! We went away with our good friends from Northampton. Keith and I played together for Colchester United, back in the 80's but we have kept in touch and the families get on great and have been going away together since 1988.
Kids had a great time in the pool and were able to practice their Spanish in the local restaurants and shops. Ryan took the men down to the local park most afternoons with Keith's son Jack for our version of the "cross bar challenge".
On the Sunday we got tickets to the "Mestelle" stadium to watch Valencia play their last game of the season against Ossasuna. What a stadium that is! The children enjoyed the experience of seeing another football ground - and a different type of football to that even in the Premiership. Ryan and Jack both thought that the game was very skilful. Both goalkeepers played well (that is obviously who I watch) and it looked like being a goalless draw but Valencia popped up with a winner with about 15 minutes to go despite Ossasuna arguably being the better side on the night.
Won't bore you with the rest of my holiday details except to say that we did see lots of sunshine and I played golf with Keith and Andrew - my brother in law - on his birthday. Andrew lives in Spain with his wife and we stayed nearby them.
Also continued with my summer programme of training and got up and ran early in morning before it got too hot. Will be different running now over here as we noticed the temperature drop when we stepped off the plane this lunch time.
Did my packing for our family break to Spain. Managed to squeeze in a game of golf with my pal Mark from Northampton. Lost but enjoyed the afternoon.
Another day of pottering and sorting following on from the meeting last night. Dychey and his son popped over for a chat which as you can imagine was quite long as Sean does not do "short chats"!!! However good to catch up now we are not travelling down the M1 together for work at the minute.
Got down to some phone calls and paperwork that was needed for the forthcoming Testimonial in July. In the evening we had another Testimonial Committee meeting with my hard working friends on the Committee where plenty was discussed regarding the match against Charlton on Sat 30th July. (plug, plug!!).... With this being the first event in my testimonial year, we want to get it right and there are lots of things to sort and organise. It was a very productive meeting but a late night for us all.
Natasha has her last netball match of the season against the champions elect! They get a bit of a hammering but still play with a smile on their faces. It's great watching the kid's play their sport. Hopefully they will continue because I think sport is vital to a child's development. It teaches you lots of lessons which apply to day to day living, keeps them off the street corners and hanging around local shops and of course keeps them fit.
It’s Cup Final day, but Ryan and his team have a tournament over in Kettering. Ryan's age group starts at 2pm and goes on all afternoon – and it has rained all morning! The tournament was really well run, but even they can't control the weather! Marc and Christina, who run the website, walk around the corner from their home to watch the first game in the rain. They go back to watch the cup final while we wait for the monsoon to start. Thunder and lightening and torrential rain followed and the tournament was abandoned half way through. A real shame for all, but the right decision.
No golf today, I need a rest! Catch up on a few jobs and then in the evening it is Ryan’s presentation night. Luther Blissett(I think you all know him!!) kindly gave up his time to come and present the medals along with Scott Cross from the cobblers, who is a rising star striker.
The boys were really excited and the evening was a great success. It was a lovely moment for Ryan when he got the Player's Player of the year. He hasn't let the trophy out of his sight yet! He even took it to bed!
Jane also got a massive bouquet of flowers from the club for all the hard work she has put in as club secretary. A lot of people have worked very hard setting the club up, but it was great that they recognised Jane's efforts.
Off down to Mill Ride for Glenn Hoddle's Charity golf day. This is in Berkshire near Ascot, so quite a drive from Northampton. Great course but the weather wasn't as kind so needed the waterproofs!
My team played very well and get 3rd prize. I was awful but chipped in with the odd good hole! All the money raised, about £18,000, goes to SPARKS so that's good news.
Got back from my golfing trip and have 2 golf days to play in!
My son’s football club have just completed their first season and done very well. The golf day is a fund raising event and was held at Whittlebury Park GC near Silverstone. I had entered a team and also got another team to join in from Isham Cobra's. They end up pipping us to first prize and win the longest drive which had a TAG watch for the winner! Won't be inviting them back! Only joking Mac! We had a great day and hope to repeat it next year.
Flew out to Spain with 5 friends for a bit of golf. Stayed in the Valencia area and played 3 different courses - El Saler, Escorpion and El Bosque. It's a great way to unwind after a long season. Lots of laughs and the odd beer here and there!!
Most of the lads went back on the Sunday but I stayed with my nephew, Joe, until the Tuesday. Joe was the best golfer on the trip and the youngest by a mile so he enjoyed taking the lads money, but to be fair he also kept the pizzas coming out to everyone around the pool one day!
Monday - Had a round up meeting with the manager and coaching staff. We are all given our summer training programmes and the results of our fitness tests so we know what levels we have to come back at for pre season.
We have got 2 weeks rest and then we start light training again for the rest of the summer building up to the July 4th return to pre season training back at Watford.
Played golf in the afternoon with H, Luke (physio) and Gibbo before doing a stint at the Watford Learning Centre at Vicarage Road at 5 pm.
Early kick off so not much time to hang about this morning. Full House expected so should be a good atmosphere in the ground. Not a great spectacle in the first half, where neither side create much. I'm having a quiet time until Jay misjudges a through ball and Harewood hits a shot at goal. He doesn't connect well and I manage to scramble back and across goal to put it away for a corner.
Then just before half time they get another corner and after defending the first ball well we don't deal with the next and eventually Ferdinand scores via a deflection. Bang goes the fourth clean sheet! To be fair, they should have scored earlier from a well worked free kick, so we can't complain too much.
Second half we give as good as we get until they get a penalty for handball against James. I did save one from him last season and go the same way but he strikes it well, into the corner. We also get a penalty late on and have a couple of great efforts saved by Jimmy Walker. So in the end we could have snatched a draw but it wasn't to be.
The kids come down for the parade around the pitch. This is always an exciting occasion and they both love it. Also had a couple of Ryan's mates with him so they could savour the moment. After all the noise it seems very quiet leaving the stadium. It was Jane's mum's, Helen, birthday so we all went for a celebration meal and eventually got home about 8pm.
Final preparations for the West Ham game are done in training this morning. We will have a very young team out, except the goalkeeper!!
In the afternoon go down with Ryan to watch Northampton try and get in the play-offs. This they do by winning 3-0 against already relegated Kidderminster. Quiet night resting for the final game.
Ryan has a football tournament so back to watching again!! All the family were there to support him and his team in a Tournament in Northampton. All the teams from the club do very well and Ryan scored a few goals so he was happy!
Late afternoon I make my way down that M1 again for the Awards Night at The Grove. H swept the board, quite right too, even won an award for winning 3 awards! The lads gave him some stick about that of course! Chance to unwind and catch up with some supporters in a relaxed atmosphere after the previous day's result. All the club is off on the bank holiday Monday so we can recover from the night before!