Weekly News Update

Likes to be beside the seaside...Blyth Spartans’ players spent a day at the seaside on Saturday.

It wasn’t quite Rio’s Copacabana, populated by lithe figures and bronzed bodies, but the beach at Tynemouth provided some small relief from the ice underfoot and the restriction of training schedules.

But the players were by no means ‘beach bums’ – they were put through their paces by manager Mick Tait.
The only one with any possible connection to such a description could be captain Gareth Williams who recently slipped on some ice and landed rather painfully directly on his backside. Known in the dressing room, highly appropriately in this respect, as ‘Cheeks’ he struggled through the session.

“Training has been limited to 5-a-side games over the last four weeks” said Tait.
“That sort of thing keeps you ticking over but becomes a bit monotonous after a while. It was a nice change to get down to the beach where the lads could run over longer stretches than the five or ten yards that you are restricted to indoors and really get their lungs opened up.”

The prolonged lay off means that Blyth’s fixtures are stacking up.
Tait commented, “To a certain extent every club is in the same boat but there is only Stalybridge in a worse position, in terms of games to get through, than us. The end of the season is going to be really hectic.”

The Spartans are due to play Guiseley at home in the postponed FA Trophy game this Tuesday and should that game be postponed the fixture will be rescheduled for Thursday 14th January. It that game itself falls foul of the conditions the game will take place on Tuesday 19th. Blyth will play Vauxhall Motors at Croft Park this Saturday in the Blue Square North, weather permitting.

Despite the issue over unplayed games Tait wouldn’t mind any game against Guiseley not taking place on Thursday.
“I understand why the game is possibly on that night but for my players to play on the Thursday, and again on the Saturday, after being out of action for over four weeks and losing match fitness is a tall order.”

Another matter occupying Tait is the fact that his squad is now down to 18 players following the return of Rikki Bains to Darlington and Alex Francis to Gateshead at the end of their loan spells. Bains is due to discuss his future with Darlington this month.
“We’re going to need a bigger squad with the number of games we’re going to have coming along thick and fast. Players will be being released by professional clubs at this time of year but most of those will be looking to stay in the pro game” said Tait.

For the time being at least and until the conditions improve the Blyth players will have to content themselves with seaside training. As to when traditional training facilities are free of snow and fixtures start again those other Beach Boys would probably suggest ‘God only knows’.

Posted by BSAFC Media Team