Getting Use Out Of An Agility Ladder

In January I started my fitness and weight loss journey in hopes of losing some weight, getting my knee better and most importantly trying to get back to a stage where I could get back to playing football if I really wanted to even if it is just 5 a side. 

I was on the right track my weight was going down, I was being a lot more activity as I was actually going to the gym but then Covid-19 hit and the gyms were shut. But instead of halting my progress I have continued at home. When both me and Liam were furloughed we were having kick about's in the garden but then when he went back to work I thought I would dig the agility ladder out and try to incorporate that into some solo workouts and it has certainly done me the world of good. 

This agility ladder cost £20 on Amazon and is a 6mtr ladder with rung's however it can be adjusted if needed. It came with a bag and a set of cones all in a nice and small carry bag so you can set up your own drills wherever you are training. The best part is you can very easily use this ladder on any surface. I have used it in the side garden and on the decking and I have had great sessions on both those surfaces and I know I will continue to do so. 

I have stood on the rungs quite a few times whether I have been wearing moulds or trainers and none of them have snapped or even have any damage on so to say they are only plastic you aren't going to have to worry about snapping them and the ladder will last you a while. 

One of my favourite drills to do with this ladder are the lateral quick steps, in fact I actually just did a 15 minute session of these and the amount of calories burnt was unbelievable. I was worried though I was going to get bored of doing these however, a quick search on YouTube brought up plenty of different drills that are going to be suitable for a variety of different skill levels so there are drills for everyone. 

I am absolutely loving using this ladder and I am sure it will be making plenty of appearances on Instagram in the future as it is an item I aren't going to get fed up of soon, in fact I am thinking of adding to the home training set up with some hurdles, so I can create a little bit of a circuit for my workouts. If you are wanting to improve your speed & agility whilst at home this off season I would definitely recommend heading to Amazon and picking up an agility ladder. 

My Favourite Football Memories Growing Up

I think all football fans have those memories from growing up that will always stick with them from the beautiful game. This time without football has definitely had me reminiscing on some of the greatest moments from the game whilst I was growing up, these moments have been from me supporting team, watching the game and even playing the game.

Back in 2000 when Bradford played against Fiorentina, which I believe Carbone's debut, my dad was working as a Steward for Bradford City. After the game me and my mum were waiting around for my dad to finish and we ended up meeting the Fiorentina team thanks to him. The best part about this though is how generous the team actually were they had some food left over which were actually sausage rolls & they ended up giving them out to us, they also give us badges and key rings. This is definitely one of those moments that will always be remembered thanks to them being so generous & actually taking the time to even acknowledge us, something that as an almost 6 year year old in love with the game will never forget.

Another thing I will always remember and is one of my favourite things to look back on is how my grandad has always been my number 1 fan. No matter the weather or team I was playing for he was on that touchline supporting me, he even took me to training sessions. When I played rugby he was always encouraging me to do the best I could, he would tell me it was so much money per tackle and so much per try. This carried over when I played football and my match day encouragement was so much money per goal, so thank you grandad for the money given over the years and helping me do the best I could as that definitely spurred me on. These days we just sit and talk about football, he has even started paying more attention to the women's game so he can chat about that with me, he also has a little folder to put Bradford City women programmes in which feature my articles.

In the Bradford City Premiership years I was still pretty young but this is definitely when I was getting more and more into football and not just my usual rugby. So obviously me and my mum weren't going to miss out on seeing Bradford City vs Manchester United at Valley Parade, especially as Manchester United have always been my second team. We ended up in the Manchester United end to watch this game, right and the back and I could barely see but I will always remember that Scholes volley going in from the Beckham corner and the whole of the TL Dallas stand just erupting, to most little kids celebrations like that may frighten them to death but I loved it and it definitely helped build the love for football that I have today. It is great now when you see that goal on social media as it just brings all those memories flooding back.

When I was in my final few years of Primary School and my first few years of Secondary School I actually got invited to a couple of trials for Centre of Excellence's.  I had trials for Manchester United, Leeds United and Bradford City all thanks to teachers recommending me. Although nothing ever came of them it gave me the opportunity to try out & see what I needed to improve on, just to say I was invited to the trials is definitely a great achievement.

Something I will always remember is when I was still quite young and Bradford City were doing a meet the players event but it was basically straight after school. I really wanted to go so my parents picked me & my sister up, brought my shirt for me to get changed in the car and we ended up getting to meet those players. If you look at the pictures from that day you just see my school polo shirt under my City shirt.

Did anyone else seem to go to load of football parties? It seemed that in primary school ever other party I went to was a football party, which was a great chance to put the kit on and go play plenty of football (a free for all) with friends for a few hours. I had plenty of football parties myself too which was great as it just meant extra time playing the game I loved, plus it was always an excuse to wear whatever shirt I got for my birthday that year, my parents have a picture in the hallway of me and my sister in full Bradford City kits just before one of my parties it was great and I wish I could still get away with having them now. 

Finally we probably have one of my favourite memories, a family friend at where my grandad used to work ran a fantasy football competition and they asked if I wanted to enter. I won the competition 2 years running, the best part is they all thought I had help when picking my team because obviously I was only young at the time (I bet I was around 10/11 the first year) and they were a group of grown men. It was so fun seeing week by week where I was in the league and it was great one year getting to hand my grandad the wooden spoon whilst he handed me my winnings. I am sure out of the winnings I bought a new football shirt/boots so you can't go wrong.

So there we have it those are the memories I have from football when growing up, what are some of yours?

The Return of Football : Have We Been Watching It

The big thing with football is that the fans are the 12th man but thanks to the current climate leagues are restarting without the 12th man in the crowd to get behind them. Some leagues have been cancelled all together, some are still in limbo but leagues such as the Bundesliga have restarted behind closed doors and watching a game with no fans and no atmosphere is just strange.

In fact it is so strange I haven't been able to watch a full game yet. With no atmosphere the game just seems to last forever and I just find myself losing interest far too early on in the game, I usually tune in then before halftime the TV will be turned off and I will just check Twitter every now and then to keep up with the scores. This is something I never thought I would end up doing as I can usually sit and watch any game from any league around the world.

Not only have the fans been missing out from seeing the live football they have become so used to but the clubs are also loosing that game day revenue. Without fans coming through the turnstiles clubs are loosing that all important ticket revenue along with any money they would also make from programmes, food & merchandise. Granted you can get merchandise online but some fans would prefer picking it up as part of their game day experience.

Also there is the case of why should some leagues carry on and others have to end just down to the clubs league and them not having as much money as others. Take Bradford City Women's league, that was cancelled very early into the lockdown situation in the UK  whereas the Women's Super League has only just ended. Similarly the EFL League 2 has now ended on a points per game basis but the Premier League is restating later this month. Why is it that the Premier League can restart but the top flight of the women's game can't? And why can some British leagues continue whilst others have had all their hard work ruled out?

At least with the Bundesliga both the top flight of the men's and women's game have restarted and will be played until the end. Once again it just feels like the FA is only bothered about the top 2 flights of the English game and are disregarding those below who need all the support they can get during these trying times.

With the Bundesliga unable to grip my interest who know's if I am going to bother trying to tune into the Premier league when it kicks off again. But one thing is for certain once this is all over & done with and things start to return to a bit of normality it is those smaller forgotten teams I will be helping support, if the FA don't seem to be bothered about them it is us fans who are really going to have to come together and help those smaller clubs get back on their feet.

Manchester United Shirt Collection

Following on from my previous posted we have my final shirt collection post, I have previously done my random shirts & Bradford City shirts but now it is time for my Manchester United shirts. 

Manchester United have always been my second team in the men's game, growing up I would always be found in a United shirt, any other item of clothing with the badge on it and I even had a Man Utd table football set up in my room at one point along with an inflatable Utd chair. Most birthday's or Christmas day's I would end up opening a shirt or something Utd related, granted I have stopped lately but I still buy the shirts every so often so the collection still slowly grows. 

So here in this post are the Manchester United shirts I have in my collection currently...

Nani is definitely one of my favourite players over the year so as soon as I was told I could have the 07 to 09 shirt I knew I wanted to have Nani's name on the back. I absolutely loved this shirt due to the details on the front and the big stripe on the back which unfortunately has seen better days thanks to being worn so much and for training back in the day. I also ended up

The 08/09 away shirt was one I loved as I just loved the simplicity of the design. The little bit of red on the neck, the little bit of blue down either side and on the neckline. The shirt was nice and simple,  I ended up with Rooney on the back of this one as he was one of my favourites around this time and I used to like getting different players on the back of each shirt instead of sticking with the same over and over again.

I don't know what it was about the 09/10 but as soon as it was revealed I made to sure to put it down on my birthday list. With my birthday being at the start of September this is when I receive my shirts for the season so as soon as the reveals happened I picked which shirt I wanted that year and let the family know. I honestly do believe that the thing that tempted me with this shirt the most was the black V going across the chest. This shirt was just nice and simple.

I absolutely loved the 11/12 away shirt. The blue and black stripes just worked really well together, mixed with what seemed like a lot smaller sponsor logo the shirt for me just worked really well. I just really wish this shirt still fit me but there is absolutely no chance of that happening.

The 10/11 home shirt is one I got for my 16th birthday, you might remember me saying that for most big birthdays I always get a shirt with my name and age on the back which is something I love and I thing this was the perfect shirt for my 16th birthday. I love shirts that have collars on them and that are nice and simple so this one ticked all the boxes for me. I actually went to Orlando in 2013 with Liam and his family and I packed this shirt for some reason and ended up wearing it a fair bit, it ws just such a nice shirt.

I actually got the 04/05 away shirt with my nickname from Primary school on the back, this was only the 2nd Man Utd shirt I had ever owned and I love the blue with just a hint of red on it. I really like the badge in the middle of the chest on this shirt too as it just made it a bit different.

My first Man Utd shirt was the 02 to 04 home shirt with of course my favourite Ronaldo on the back. As you can see from the images this shirt was worn to death, so much so that the sponsor logo has come off all together in one place and is falling off in other places. This shirt was worn for everything, football parties, football training, playing out and even non-uniform days at school I just loved it.

The gold detailing on the 06/07 away shirt is what sold me on this one you will see in the next image that I actually ended up getting both the home and away shirt for this season (not entirely sure why) but I ended up with my surname and a random number on the back of this. This shirt just looked so smart to me growing up with the black white and gold detailing.

 As I mentioned above I got both the home and away shirts for the 06/07 season. This is the year where one of my favourite players were definitely Rio Ferdinand, I think it is because he helped me win a fantasy football league but I had to get him on this shirt. Again this shirt was so simple but the gold detailing just made it look a bit different to other red shirts.

The 10/11 away shirt was only ever going to be printed to with one name for me. Chicharito for me was a fantastic player and he was an instant favourite for me, I remember getting this from my grandparents for my birthday and I had to go with them to get this printed as they weren't going to risk having his name spelled wrong. I actually fell out of love with white shirts as I started to get older but again I loved this one as it is simple but the breakdown of the colours on the sleeves make it that bit different. As you can see though the red has started to run on the sleeves unfortunately.

Finally we have my most recent Man Utd shirt which is the 3rd shirt from the 18/19 season. Lingard is actually one of my current favourite United players, granted he hasn't had his best games recently but I still think he has potential. This is the first United Adidas shirt I have and the quality is brilliant as well as the colours of the shirt. When we actually got this shirt and was waiting for it printing the guy in DW sports was actually saying this was the best shirt he had printed down to the quality of the material. I really do need to stand wearing this shirt more often.

Just like with my other shirt collections there are definitely some shirts missing from this collection, most importantly my George Best printed shirt which I got to commemorate the 50th anniversary of the clubs first European Cup win, which goes nicely with my programme from that game too, which I will definitely be featuring on here too. Plus there is also the Ryan Giggs shirt I had which my mum sold at a car boot of all places.

If I find any of the missing shirts when I get the chance to properly look at my parents house I will definitely add them to a new post. Plus I will be doing posts in the future as I add more shirts to my collection over the next few years.  Do you have any Manchester United shirts in your collection?