THERE may be much talk about the future plans for a winter break in England, but Guiseley have been effectively handed one early by virtue of the recent cold snap.
The Lions have seen their last two home matches against Barrow and Dagenham and Redbridge fall by the wayside and are hoping it’s a case of third time lucky in tonight’s rescheduled Nethermoor encounter against the Cumbrians.
The snow deluge and icy conditions have hampered training severely too, certainly in the second half of last week, with Sean St Ledger, relatively fresh into management, admitting that it has proven an added frustration.
He said: “I am sure that the lads are thinking that this is their winter break at the moment. The weather has been bad and it’s hard to plan.
“You want to be organised. The difficulty with indoor facilities is that they are not the biggest and you cannot really do what you want to do. But it is a case of making sure the lads get their heart-rates up and maintain their fitness.
“We had the lads in last Tuesday for a session and we did some upper-body circuits and with the weather towards the end of the week, some of the lads were unable to get in because of the extreme conditions and safety was paramount.
“We did not want the players travelling in such bad conditions and we had to look to find some indoor facilities to train in and it was testing. But it is just one of those things.
“The training ground at West Riding was covered, so we were frustrated. But you do deal with these things and some players were given programmes to follow at their local gym.
“There is not too much you can do with the weather and we weren’t the only clubs in this situation.
“And there will have been a lot in higher divisions who probably have their own training grounds who would have struggled to train as well.
“But at least the players were able to go to their gyms to maintain their fitness.”
Despite the break in games due to a couple of postponements, the work has never stopped for rookie boss St Ledger, who has been thrown in at the deep end in his first experience of football management.
The workload may have been hectic, but he admits that he is relishing the challenge.
He added: “There has been a lot to do with video analysis and taking training and players coming in and out and many, in this case, players going out as well.
“I have been organising with James (Ferguson – chairman) in terms of where we are going to be training and how many because some are part-time and some players are full-time.
“There is a lot to do, but, at the same time, I have enjoyed the challenge – and I do feel like I am starting to get to grips with it.”
Believing that the spirit in the Lions camp has improved in recent weeks, one advance that St Ledger has presided over with a number of part-timers coming back into the fold, the Guiseley boss continued: “I would like to think so.
“With a smaller squad, I think you get a better spirit.
“What we need to do is just get on the training ground more and work on how we are going to play and defend and look at how we are going up against and set-pieces.”
Guiseley are due to hold a pitch inspection at 9am this morning ahead of tonight’s game.