The return of the winter break to the Scottish football programme is welcome. There are a couple of physiological reasons for this. Players are never truly 100% fit during the season, they always carry knocks and scrapes. Allowing them time away from competitive action will allow minor abrasions to recover with less risk of a more significant injury.
The way a player can train during the season is also limited by impending football games. Endurance training requires lots of stamina-sapping exercise. This is possible in the early weeks of preseason but its’ simply not practical to push players’ endurance limits at the start of the week and expect them to play at the weekend. Even less taxing training is possible when a player has two games a week.
A three week break from games in January will allow training programmes to be implemented which simply would not be possible otherwise. A mid-season foundation layer of fitness can be laid down which will allow legs to appear fresher in subsequent months. This foundation layer should also prevent injuries.
Can’t believe it’s been 18 years since the League Cup final was played pre-Christmas. I’ve fond memories of the last one – against Dundee United, at Ibrox. The 90s brought us a Scottish Cup win in 1995 but that League Cup win came early in a season we believed we had a genuine title chance for the first time in years.
It felt like, and proved to be, a profound moment.
It was also our first League Cup since 1982 – the Hampden in the rain final, another great memory from a period we were so far out of the picture in Europe domestic competitions were always the ambition. For those to young to know, the Celtic end at Hampden was like a 90° ash park, with three inch wooden planks standing upright, which some decades earlier held back the ash to create long-gone steps. Good job we won.
I see Aberdeen’s inspiration, Jonny Hayes, is out for a month. As we know to our cost this season, losing your top players costs points. We’ll see how it affects Aberdeen on Friday.
Mangers Premium Seat Competition
Magners have offered us two Premium Ticket seats for the Jock Stein Stand on Saturday. To win you need to answer this question:
Which town do Celtic’s opponents on Saturday come from?
Put your answer in the SUBJECT LINE of an email to firstname.lastname@example.org
The competition closes at 16:00 TODAY, so only a few hours to enter………..
…………. After you do so, you might want to donate a £1 to our Mary’s Meals School Kitchen Appeal, you know, to buy a child a meal for a year or so…….. You can do so here.