This Alex Scott talks about Arsenal Ladies trip to Bilbao, fitness testing at St George's Park and warm weather training in Spain with England...
Pre-season begins in earnest this weekend as all the England girls head off to La Manga for warm winter training.
Some of the team love it, while others dread it. For me, I’ve been going there for seven or eight years now so I know exactly what to expect.
It’s high-intensity training, with a lot of double sessions thrown in for good measure. Still, I enjoy it, even though I know we get beasted in order to get us in shape for the year to come, one which is especially important as we have the European Championships in the summer.
All our food is prepared for us, so we don’t have to think about that. In the past, I’ve sneaked in a pack of custard creams or bourbons, but I’ve given up biscuits as part of my new year’s resolutions, so I won’t be taking any this year. That doesn’t mean I’m not craving them, of course!
My fitness is already pretty good going into this camp. I have a good idea of where I am after last weekend’s trip to Athletic Bilbao with Arsenal Ladies.
We travelled out there to play a friendly against their women’s team to commemorate their last game at San Mames stadium. It was a hard match, because we hadn’t trained for it, but overall the trip was a great experience.
We went out with the Bilbao players in the evening and learnt a lot about their club and their culture. I certainly learned a few things, like the fact that both the Bilbao men’s and women’s teams only field Basque players.
When we arrived back, all the England girls had to go off to St George’s Park to do our fitness tests in preparation for La Manga.
I feel like I’m on course for the start of the season. I’m lucky in that I have natural aerobic fitness. For that reason, I’ve been working more on my strength in recent weeks.
If you look back at the Olympics when we were representing Team GB, the big thing that came out of it is how we were outmuscled by Canada, who knocked us out.
The England girls, many of whom played for Team GB, are all determined to win the Euros in the summer, so we can’t leave any stone unturned in the next few months.
This week will be important for team spirit too and I’m sure we’ll all be talking about what our goals are for the rest of the year.
Winning the Euros has to be the aim and hopefully this week in La Manga will be the start of making that dream a reality.