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A journey made easier

31 August 2013

First team travel plans

With Fleetwood hitting the road again this weekend to face AFC Wimbledon, manager Graham Alexander has given an insight into what he and the team get up to on their long coach journeys for away matches.

Unlike most of the travelling Cod Army, who are making the long trip to Kingsmeadow today, Alexander and the first-team squad made the journey down south on Friday. 

Alexander, however, used the extra day to break up the trip that takes just over six hours to get to by fitting in a training session after he was given permission by MK Dons boss, Karl Robinson, to use the League 1 club's facilities yesterday.

The Fleetwood Town manager revealed the importance of managing the trips properly, how traffic plays its part and what the Town management, staff and players get up to the day of an away game.

Speaking to Cod Army Player, Alexander said: “It is certainly an early start. We will pick the lads up at two or three different pick up points, and because it is a long journey down, we try and get a training ground half-way down, and fortunately we have asked Karl Robinson, who has been good enough to let us use their (MK Dons) training ground for a session.

“It breaks up the journey as well, gets the lads a training session and gets them out of the six hour straight journey on the bus. We will travel down to the hotel where there will be a pool there for the lads to recover from the journey and then we will have dinner together. 

“On a match day, we will have breakfast, have pre-match meal at 12noon and then we name the team before we actually go out and play the game. Obviously I have only just retired from playing for just over a year now and if you don't manage these journeys properly they can go and take it out of you. 

“Sometimes the M6, the M25 and the M1 go against you anyway and even after all the best preparation, that puts you back a bit and that's down to luck and things we can't control, but we can control what we do in between.”

Reflecting on long away trips, Alexander says they are great for team bonding for the management and players, who all eat together and enjoy the trip as much as they can by watching films amongst other things.

“We all eat together, the staff and the players, we all make sure we eat together. It's important that we do that, that we all go for breakfast on a Saturday morning. We know the lads have all different times, but we all make sure they are out of their beds and up and about because we think that gives you an energy.

“These trips are good. They are good for getting the odd funny film on the bus and the lads always come with their own laptops or iPads and it's good because the lads are around each other and they each others company. We have a great set of players here.”

Alexander also took time out show his appreciation to the travelling Fleetwood fans and says it his and the players responsibility to reward those fans with positive performances, and most importantly, results to make sure they return to the Fylde coast 'proud' of their team.

“It's great because we do travel some miles and we know how difficult these journeys are. For us it is easier because we go down the day before, but for supporters leaving so early in the morning and they are sometimes unfortunate enough to not get there before kick-off, which is a great shame.

“We do take that responsibility on board and we have to put a show on to make them proud of us because we understand the commitment they have got to come and travel with us and we appreciate every single one of them. It's a small army, but it's an army nonetheless and it's important to us.”

Supporters who aren't able to travel can enjoy live commentary on the Cod Army Player, including mobile devices.  The full video interview with Graham Alexander is also available on the Cod Army Player.


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