Year 9 pupil Reece is a talented athlete and footballer whose recent sports diary has been featured in ISA School Sport magazine. Reece is a Manchester United Academy player, outstanding cross country and 1500 metre runner who combines extensive training and an afternoon release day to train in Manchester, as well as being a top academic. He also plays tennis at a high level.
Reece despite his heavy schedule regularly still plays on Saturday mornings and in cup matches for the school football team. He also attends football after school training in College on the AWP throughout the winter and is very modest in all he has already achieved.
I start the week off with a 2km time trial during athletics practice, where my aim is to run at a very high tempo and reach sub 7 minutes, which I achieve. This is in preparation for a 2.4km road relay competition I will be doing for my club West Cheshire AC. We then complete a set of 200m sprints and finish with a warm down, which consists of 2 slow laps of the track.
Today is my first day back at school so there aren’t any sports clubs on. Tomorrow is my first day back at Manchester United training after 6 months due to covid-19. To prepare for this I complete a short run around Chester.
In our double PE lesson we do some fitness tests to set a benchmark for the term; we do standing broad jump, speed bounce and a sprint agility test which I perform well in and am one of the top ones in my year group. After school I am picked up by a driver who takes me to United for my evening training session. I am training a year group up with the u15/16 schoolboy scholars and we are working on playing out from the back which benefits me a lot as I play in defence/centre-mid.
Today there is no physical training session so instead I take part in a Webex call with some other members of the United squad and sports scientists who go through multiple stretches with us to help our calves, hamstrings and quadriceps most importantly. The aim is so we prevent any form of injury and our muscles don’t get stiff.
Evening training at United is with the u14s tonight and we work on possession-based drills and our variation of passing and the different techniques we can use. To finish we play an all-out 8-a-side game and my team are victorious which makes it even more enjoyable. This all adds up in preparation for the weekend fixtures.
I am looking forward to today’s two matches for United which is unusual, as we normally only play one match per weekend. I am happy to have been one of the few to be picked to do this. The morning match is against Barnsley u15s, where I play as a centre back. A solid performance and a number of defensive
blocks result in a massive win of 8-2. We had a break at lunch and then I play my second match in the afternoon, with my own age group (u14s) against Leeds. I manage to contain the striker well and made a good few runs forward, leading the attack and defence.
As I had played two matches yesterday there is no United training today. Instead I enjoy a game of tennis with my family at our tennis club, this is a good way to end the week.