Scotland U16 Development camp: Valladolid blog

As part of the Scotland U16 player-development camp to Valladolid, funded by Erasmus+ and New College Lanarkshire, the players have been tasked with documenting their experience.

Our third blog comes from no.8 Ben Muncaster, who attends Rugby School and plays with North Berwick.

Day 7©Juan Carlos Rodríguez

On Sunday, we had a slightly later breakfast at 8.30am as these next two days prioritised rest. After breakfast, we had free time until lunch to go into the city centre of Valladolid to experience the culture, which was interesting, and we went to buy souvenirs and visit local shops.

In the afternoon we had more free time, so we played a bit of ping pong and rested more. At 4.30pm, we departed to a local pool and treated ourselves to an ice cream. We returned to the hotel at about 8pm and had an early night as we were back to the regular morning routine to travel to the magnificent city of Salamanca the following day.

Day 8

We started the day back to our regular morning timings, so waking up at 7.30am and monitoring at 8am was back on, but that wasn’t on the boys’ mind as the trip to Salamanca was approaching. Everyone was a little tired as the morning routine had moved back half an hour from the day previous.

We started our journey to Salamanca with a 2-and-a-half-hour bus journey, which consisted of the boys either sleeping or chatting away, and as we approached Salamanca we all felt that lingering heat hit us.

On arrival we were greeted by an energetic and friendly guide who showed us around the beautiful historic town, which is home to the wall of shells, grand cathedrals and the elephant statue. She was also very knowledgeable and shared facts about the city with us as we explored. As we finished the tour, we were dropped off at the NH Hotel to have lunch which included fresh salads, juicy meats, and a delicious dessert.

After lunch we were allowed 3 hours of free time to explore and wonder round the ancient streets of Salamanca. We all did our own tour of the city – some of us tried the local cuisine, others explored the cathedral, but one thing we all did was have our fill of the amazing ice cream. We then all met up in the town square at the agreed time and shared our day’s adventures and showed the gifts we had bought for family and friends. We then had to endure that long bus ride back to the hotel, most of us falling asleep from a tiring but memorable day, and when we arrived back to our rooms we were all needing a rest.

Day 9©Juan Carlos Rodríguez

We were glad to get to back to the rugby and our normal routines, though our daily monitoring showed we had put on a bit from the two days off with all the ice cream. After the meeting at 9.10am, we left for the rugby club at half past.

The training was a killer in which we worked on quickness and quality of the bullets (the first person into a ruck) at the breakdown. After that, we had lunch at 12.45pm and afterwards had a time of rest until 4pm.

We then had another rehab session to relax our muscles and prepare for the gym and position specific training. After this, we travelled back to the hotel and had a small break before dinner at 8.15pm followed by rest unless you had a niggle, in which there was an injury clinic. The boys were knackered at the end of the day so we were all looking forward to our beds.