Pompey Academy told to enjoy but not abuse Christmas break

Pompey Academy coach Mikey Harris    Picture: Joe Pepler
Pompey Academy coach Mikey Harris Picture: Joe Pepler
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ENJOY Christmas dinner – but don’t return to us overweight or out of shape.

That’s the message from Pompey Academy coach Mikey Harris to the Blues’ youngsters following their extended break from youth-team action.

The players have all got a programme they were sent away with, which involves them maintaining their physical fitness

Pompey Academy coach Mikey Harris

Harris’ under-18s outfit will have no excuses for overendulging during the festive season, though, after they received individual health and fitness programmes from the club.

Following the Academy’s 1-1 draw with Bristol Rovers last Saturday, each and every player was handed a tailored regime – carefully considered by strength and conditioning trio Aidy Cooke, Ben Spong and Lucas McArdle.

And while some will be actively encouraged to indulge in more turkey for added protein or extra spuds for calories, Harris has backed all of the youngsters to put their measured plans into practise.

He said: ‘The boys can go and enjoy their Christmas dinner. It is just about balance.

‘The players have all got a programme they were sent away with, which involves them maintaining their physical fitness.

‘The strength and conditioning team – Aidy Cooke, Ben Spong and Lucas McArdle – do a fantastic job with them.

‘Everything is tailored to the individual because every single player is different and has different requirements.

‘Some of the lads need to develop power, so their programme will be geared around that.

‘Some lads need to gain muscle, so again their nutritional programme will be higher calories for them to build themselves up.

‘We treat the boys as individually as we can to maximise their potential.’

Pompey Academy return to Youth Alliance League action on Saturday, January 9, with the visit of Swindon Town.

And Harris has told his players to make the most of their time away – while striking the right balance between work and rest.

He said: ‘They can go away and have a bit of a break from the training ground and the day-to-day side.

‘But they will have some work to do over the holidays to keep themselves fit.’

– JEFF MARSHMAN