Notts County youth team striker Alex Kenlock delivers his blog through League Football Education.
The County youth team has travelled to Spain on a pre-season tour that has been arranged in conjunction with League Football Education (LFE).
Notts are being are looked after by Levante UD and are hoping to use the trip to aid the development of their youth team players and their own preparations for the new season.
The trip, which is fully subsidised by Erasmus+ funding will provide opportunities for the players to sample a different football culture and to broaden their horizons both personally and professionally.
As well as participating in training sessions with some of Spain's top coaches at state-of-the-art facilities – the youth team will face the stern examination of three matches on the 12-day tour.
Notts County’s Mick Leonard said: "Levante are our hosts so our players will get the chance to work with their coaches and vice-versa. We'll learn about them and they'll learn about us.
"The tour also gives us the chance to learn more about our own players.
"We will be with them 24 hours a day so you can take a lot from that and not just in a football sense.
"For some it may be teaching them about other cultures and by going abroad they can experience it first-hand, while for others it'll be more about making sure they integrate with teammates and gain from the experience."
What an early start! 3.30am at the training ground to travel to Valencia – my excitement had been building all the previous night particularly during my journey from London back to Nottingham to the Digs I live in on a day-to-day basis.
Even for the early hours of the morning there was a bit of banter flying around as we boarded the coach en-route to the airport and I have to say that getting on the flight was a relatively smooth process – I’d expected it to take a lot longer given recent news stories about airport security being upped.
It was glorious on arrival in Spain and after a transfer to our hotel and brief team meeting we hit the beach and had a walk around the local area. From that point it was a case of lunch and a light training session designed to get the flight out of our system and get us back in the routine of training every day.
Afterwards it was a case of sitting down for our evening meal and getting some much needed rest. I don’t know about the other lads but as soon as my head touched the pillow I went straight to bed!
I woke up early around 7am in the morning to get ready for the busy day ahead. We had breakfast with our neighbours from across the road who are also out here on tour.
As we gathered round to hear about the days training plans – much to our delight and following on from last night’s light session our coach Mick (Leonard) told us to ditch our boots and have our trainers at the ready. We were running! No surprise there then!
After the run we went in to three-v-three and the four-v-four work which is really hard work. The session ended with a bit of phase play.
We then got back and had lunch and with about three hours to spare ahead of the day’s second training session it was time to relax at the hotel.
Before we knew it we were back out working hard on the training pitch though – which as you can imagine is in quite a different setting to what we’re used to in Nottingham. In the second session the group was split into attackers and defenders, with attackers working on passing and link play while the defenders went away to do their own thing!