Under 18 Blues visit St George’s Park
Saturday 07 July 2018 - by Stuart Smedley (Updated on 07 July 2018 at 13:43)
A number of Royal Wootton Bassett Town's Under 18 Blues squad recently had the chance to visit St George's Park – home of England's national teams.
With many accompanied by their parents, the team travelled up to Burton-on-Trent, staying overnight, before an action-packed Saturday at the £110m national football centre, opened in 2012.
On arrival, they were given a full tour of the superb 350-acre facilities by FA Coach Educator Chas Khehra.
Highlights of the tour included seeing the 'Autograph Wall', signed by legends of the English game, the current England squad plus players from teams who have trained at St George's Park, including Barcelona and Chelsea, the indoor AGP pitch and main stadium pitch - both of which share the same dimensions as Wembley, changing rooms and main training facilities.
Following the tour, they received a 90-minute train session, led by Khehra, a UEFA A Licence qualified coach.
This was followed by a one-hour session in the hydrotherapy area. This included a warm down session replicating that undertaken by the England team. This involved exercises in a swimming pool, a walk in-walk out cold bath set at nine degrees, followed by a jacuzzi set at 36 degrees. Five minutes was spent in each, with this being repeated three times.
The players also got the chance to use the underwater running machine. Costing a cool £250,000, this allows physiotherapists to analyse a player's running style through the use of underwater cameras and water jets.
All in all, it was a fantastic experience for the players, all of whom were buzzing afterwards – even if a little tired, according to manager Russell Turner.