So it all began with a phone call from Wolves FanCast host David Evans asking if I was available for the following day. Dave asked if could get down to the Wolves training ground the next day on behalf of Football FanCcast to be put through our paces by Wolves fitness coach Tony Daley. How could I say no to a chance to be put through my paces by former England international?!
After putting down the phone I looked down at my leg… Only the day before I suffered a serious grass burn to my leg playing football restricting movement to my knee but this was an opportunity I could not miss! So after a night medicating myself with a series of antibiotics and antibiotic burn cream, the following morning off I went to the training ground to meet Tony Daley. Upon arrival I was ushered through to reception where also waiting to be put through their paces were journalists from Match magazine, the Daily Mail and The Mirror. It was a bit daunting that our little old Wolves Fancast was rubbing shoulder s with the like’s of Match magazine and national newspapers. It felt like we had made it! Also accompanying said journalists were there own cameramen and photographers!
So off we all went through to the changing rooms to get changed in training gear that Puma had kindly donated to us for the exercise. With all the journalists talking about interviews they had recently carried out with players such as Mikel Arteta, Jack Rodwell and Kyle Walker, their eyes all turned to me. “So….who are you from?”… “Erm…Wolves FanCast” I mumbled back…. “Who?” they politely asked back. I then went onto explain what we do and our goals and aspirations for the forthcoming season and they all seemed genuinely interested in what we are doing at Wolves FanCast. So after exchanging small talk and getting changed we were called from the changing room and into the gym to go through our first set of exercises. This began with leg power tests which consisted of doing a vertical jump on an electronic mat which could register how high you had jumped. Once we began you could already sense the competition between us. I asked Tony what he would expect from his players in this drill. 50cm being his answer. Wolves’ highest jumper with 62cm was Bjorn Sigurdarson. Also getting a mention for his athleticism was youngster Ethan Ebanks-Landell. Ethan got mentioned several times on how well he performs so he sounds like he may be one to watch out for in the future.
After the vertical jump it was time for the vertical standing jump with 3 attempts each. Tony told us that from Wolves he would expect the players to be able to jump 2 meters plus. After we had finished in the gym Tony led us outside onto the AstroTurf where we were to take part in several more drills. The first drill was the to run from your start position to a cone situated 10 yards away then to your left to a cone a further 10 yards away then to a cone to the right again 10 yards away from the centre cone finally you would run back to the centre cone and make a 10 meter dash to were you started the drill. Finally we had to complete 3 sets of 30 meter sprints with our times being clocked over 10 meters and 30 meters. We once again asked Tony who Wolves best performers were and not surprisingly Bjorn Sigurdarson came out on top. He gave us his time over 30 meters which if I recall correctly may have been 3.47 seconds meaning he could complete 100 meters in around 12 and a half seconds which is highly impressive. Tony also gave a mention to Wolves winger Bakary Sako who he also mentioned is fastest over 10 meters but not over 30.
The training session provided by Tony Daley and Wolves was a superb experience and it really brings home to you just how fined tuned these athletes are and there is no doubting that we have some real athletes within our squad. The facilities and technology at the player’s disposal was very impressive for a club who are not on a Premier League on the pitch right now. With these facilities available to our squad off the pitch, if that’s anything to go by I would like to think we will be reaching these heights in the not to distant future.
A big thanks to Tony Daley, Wolverhampton Wanderers and Puma for the opportunity to take part and to learn more about the hard work that goes on behind the scenes at Wolves.
Written by Luke Thomson
PUMA are official technical and replica kit and training wear providers to Wolves. All merchandise is available via the club megastore or online at wolvesmegastore.co.uk. Head to puma.com/football for more information on PUMA’s club partnerships and the King, evoSPEED and PowerCat boot ranges.