UK Tour Day 5 2014-04-21 12:28:00




Happy Easter !


Another fantastic day on a trip that just gets better and better.


Down for breakfast at 8.30am and then we had a Tour of Bolton Wanderers Reebok Stadium. It is very impressive. We were out on the pitch, which is incredible. It is like the best putting green you have ever seen. We were also in the dressing rooms. The whole Stadium is very good. It is 14 or 15 years old but looks brand new.


The star of the show however was not the Stadium but Enda.


While in the home dressing room Enda, with a little help from Shane, did a pre-game team talk. It was just hilarious. It was all off the cuff and all the more remarkable for that. Some of the one-liners were just inspired. The rest of us were in stitches. The boy is gifted.


As an encore Enda did a post-game press conference in the media area. It was again incredible and amazing. When it was put to the “gaffer” that he had not played any of his two Irish internationals he replied – “I don’t really like the Oirish!” It was priceless. Some of the lads recorded both on their phones and you should try to get see either or both.


Take a bow Enda. We have been looking for Peter Kay since we arrived only to find that we have even better already with us.


Then we were on the bus and heading to Burnley. On arrival Jason and Shane sang their forfeits. They will not win X-Factor but fair play to them for doing it and the rest of the lads joined in for the chorus. Then we had a joke feast as gag followed gag to uproarious laughter that must have totally confused our opposition. It was mighty fun and hard to imagine a happier group anywhere.


O yes, we also played a match today!


Heather is still out injured. Callum picked up an injury in the last game and is out but Kevin is back and ready to play.


                               ADSL     3     :    BURNLEY BELVEDERE    1


This was excellent.


We played our best football so far in a game against a team who have already won their local League.


We started well and got better and better with every player, without exception, doing very well in an excellent performance. We took the lead after 5 minutes with a super goal by Joe Carmody with a powerful shot from distance that flew in off the underside of the crossbar.


Jason Nugent might have made it two on ten minutes coming very close with a header from a cross by the outstanding Ian O’Rourke. Kieran Colclough was closer still with another header from a well worked short corner routine. On 36 minutes Joe Carmody let fly with another screamer but this time his shot was brilliantly saved by their keeper.


It was a very good first half. We were solid at the back, ran the show from midfield and always looked lively and dangerous in attack. Passing and movement and work rate was all good in a pleasing first half.


We doubled our lead ten minutes into the second half with a sensational team goal. It started deep in our half when Kieran Colclough collected the ball and played it out wide to Darren Duff who played a neat first touch one-two with Joe Carmody before picking out Sam Maxwell who in turn picked out the run of Darragh Cunningham down the left who skipped past a defender and then crossed low to the near post for Kevin Rohan to finish, first time, to the net for 2-0 and a quite brilliant goal.


We continued to play well. Kevin Rohan had another good change as did Paul Carey rampaging forward from right back. However, we did not have it all our own way and they are a good side and they got a goal back after 32 mins of the second half to ensure a tight finish.


However we did finish well and added a third goal just four minutes later. Darren Duff got on the end of Fred Kelleher’s pass and worked hard to pull the ball back for Tom O’Carroll to tee up Charlie Nevin who deftly clipped the ball up and over the keeper for a well taken goal.


It was a good win but an even better performance and the overall mood in the camp is now even higher, if that is possible.


After the game Burnley Belvedere extended the most generous hospitality and put on a great spread that was hugely appreciated as we watched the last twenty minutes of the Liverpool v Norwich match. The welcome and hospitality was immense. They also had an Easter Egg for each of the layers as we left. A huge “Thank You” to Burnley Belvedere Football Club.


Then it was back onto the bus and back to our Hotel. On the way the players got another Easter Egg from the ADSL Bunny. It is not quite on the diet or nutrition sheet but it is Easter Sunday and we deserved it today. (That is our excuse anyway!).


We then settled in to watch the second half of Hull v Arsenal and then Everton and Man U. To be fair Gudgie was extraordinarily fair and magnanimous in congratulating the Liverpool lads while nobody really gave him a hard time after another abysmal failure by Utd. Yea right!


We were down for dinner at 6.30pm and after that we went bowling. Tommy had more strikes than Dublin Bus. Team Stephen won the team competition after a stirring finish by Adam. Then there was a bit of time in the Amusements before we all ran out of money and then back to the hotel for our last night. We have a long day tomorrow so we need to get some of the packing done. There was however still some time for a short religious service and sermon from Fr. Duff.


Another fantastic day.



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