Scotland U17 player-development camp: Valladolid updates
As part of the Scotland U17 player-development camp to Valladolid, part-funded by Erasmus+ and New College Lanarkshire, the players have been tasked with documenting their experience. The first week review comes from second-row Callum Anderson, who attends George Heriot’s School and flanker Duncan Hood, who attends Stewart's Melville College.
Monday 2 July
We arrived at Murrayfield at 9am where we received new kit and bags for the trip, which created a buzz of excitement around the team as everyone pulled on their Scotland polos for the flight to Spain. After buying healthy lunches and snacks at the airport we finally boarded the plane and we were on our way to Valladolid.
When we stepped out of the airport we were greeted by the heat of a Spanish summer. We boarded another bus that would take us to our accommodation for the next two weeks and we were then assigned a room with a team mate whom we shall be with for a week. After a big meal where the boys wolfed down their dinner we were told a bit more about the camp and the rules. We were all very tired from traveling and the excitement of the day so an early bed time was in order. I’ll let you decide if this advice was followed. After all the excitement of the first day, everyone was buzzing and raring to go for the first day of training.
Thursday 5 July
After our daily monitoring, in which we record the quantity and quality of our sleep followed by a quick flexibility test, we dug into our breakfast. We then had our meeting before the first session of the day. The backs worked on their cross-field kicks which consisted of kick: distance, timing & weight. This was followed by a recovery pool session led by our physiotherapist, Jo. Afterwards we departed for the hotel, enjoyed our lunch and had a rest period which was followed by a snack before our second session of the day. This was specialist skills session which included lineouts for forwards and running lines and kicking for backs. Also, we had a speed session, taken by our Strength and Conditioning Coach, Rob. When we arrived back we were greeted with another nutritious meal before heading to bed.
Friday 6 July
We woke up for our routinely monitoring at 8am. After being well-fuelled by breakfast we headed off to our pre-training meeting in which we discussed our objectives for the day. These included scrumming, kicking and defensive shape. One of the main focuses was targeting the main ball players in order to shut down the attack. The session was intense and left us craving lunch. Half of the group did their second player one-to-one sessions to focus on the nutrition and off-field aspects of our development. After our two-hour recovery period, a few of the coaches took the squad for a cultural stroll into the beautiful city of Valladolid. On our return, dinner was awaiting us and we were treated to burgers. The was followed up by members of the squad enjoying the gripping World Cup match that was Brazil v Belgium.
Saturday 7 July
The backs completed their daily monitoring at 7.50am, quickly followed by the forwards at 8am. We packed our bags for the training session at VRAC. Immediately before our departure, a meeting was held to discuss our values and responsibilities as a team and to outline the day’s session. During the session, we completed our usual warm-up with Rob, our S&C coach, before working in three groups in a defensive drill. We focused on our width and spacing in defence and worked on nominating and pointing at the player we were defending. We then played 14 v 10 to test our attack and defence in more realistic situations. After lunch, we made our way back to our rooms to utilise our rest and recovery period, whilst some players attended rehab and injury clinics. We then prepared for the final session of the day with a snack at 4.30pm. We departed shortly afterwards to the university to work on our release plays to a man in behind the forward pod and to improve our technique on some of the key lifts in the gym. Afterwards we enjoyed the last meal of the day and then turned in for the night.
Scotland U17 Valladolid squad
Callum Anderson (George Heriot’s School)
Luke Armstrong (High School of Glasgow / Glasgow Hawks)
Tom Banatvala (Fettes College)
Archie Bogle (Eyemouth High School / Duns)
Tim Brown (Lathallan School / Montrose)
Rory Cockburn (Dumfries Academy / Dumfries Saints)
Euan Cunningham (Wallace High School / Stirling County)
Ryan Daley (George Watson’s College / Currie Chieftains)
Oscar del Priore (Hermitage Academy / Cartha Queens Park)
Michael Gray (Dollar Academy / Stirling County)
Angus Hoffie (George Watson’s College)
Duncan Hood (Stewart’s Melville College)
Michael Jones (Lasswade High School / Boroughmuir)
Thomas McGuire (St Aloysius College)
Ross McKnight (Dollar Academy / Stirling County)
John Paterson (High School of Glasgow / Glasgow Hawks)
George Ratcliffe (Strathallan School)
Alex Samuel (St Leonards School / Madras)
Cameron Scott (Preston Lodge High School / Preston Lodge)
Gabriel Smith (St Leonards School / Howe of Fife)
Rhys Tait (Hawick High School / Hawick)
Christian Townsend (Earlston High School / Melrose)
Peter Wallwork (Strathallan School)
Archie Watters (George Watson’s College)
Max Williamson (Dollar Academy / Stirling County