David Eyres' column: Fitness has been big factor for current and former Clarets (From This Is Lancashire)
David Eyres' column: Fitness has been big factor for current and former Clarets
THE season may be finishing for Burnley Football Club today, but for the Vintage Clarets it is just beginning. And boy, don’t we know about it!
I was looking forward to last weekend’s game against Haslingden St Mary’s. But all enthusiasm fast evaporated when I tried to make my legs work – simply because they just wouldn’t.
The first couple of runs I made were, frankly, embarrassing. I even think I fell a couple of times. There was just nothing there and I felt every inch my 50 years, and then some.
Next time – and there WILL be a next time – I’m going to get myself in a lot better shape.
The only consolation was I wasn’t the only one who struggled.
Ade Akinbiyi made a goalscoring debut for the team but admitted it was far from the stroll in the park he expected.
It was a wake-up call for all of us.
Thankfully, for the current Clarets, there haven’t been such problems this season. From start to finish they have been super-fit and focused and I don’t expect anything less than the same again at Reading this lunchtime.
It’s a big game for the home side, so it won’t be easy. But I still think the Clarets are capable of spoiling their play-off ambitions and getting the win they need to take them to 95 points.
In most other season they would have lifted the title, but we’ll take promotion all the same.
Tomorrow the fans will get to salute their Premier League bound heroes in an open-top bus parade through town, marking two week’s worth of celebrations. And why not?
Ours were crammed into the same wonderful whirlwind weekend and I remember it all vividly, despite the few glasses of bubbles and beer that were consumed.
We stayed out on the Wembley pitch for as long as possible after the game and the presentation, then it was onto the team hotel. The next morning we travelled up to Burnley and after going over the tops through Rawtenstall we met at a pub at the top of the hill into Burnley and started the parade from there.
They were unbelievable scenes. I didn’t even know that many people lived in the town!
I’m sure there will be another terrific turn-out again. And then the night will be capped by the player of the year awards.
I’m glad I don’t have to choose the winner. There are too many worthy players to name.
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