Sunday, 23 September 2007

Home and Away

While the players are away this blogger is at play and I’ve discovered recently just how daunting it is for away teams to come to Layer Road. I’ve been given access to the home and away changing rooms and the difference between the home and away facilities gives yet another clue as to why we have an extra edge here at Layer Road.The Bunker
The first thing that strikes you is that each room has its own personality. I’ll start with the away team’s bunker. Remember that these rooms are just below the seating in the main stand and it’s anyone’s guess as to what noises travel through this room. The pictures here show what a bland environment welcomes our guests.

There are 45 clothes hooks and just one coat hanger (suggestions for suitable uses please). There's a junior size physio table. What's in the box beneath it - actually it says 'Medy Elito' on the box, so either that's where he lives, or he has been playing a part in this season's campaign that we have yet to realise. Notice also the whitewashed brickwork walls.
The shower and bath facilities (and just check out the helpful Health & Safety notice).
There really isn’t anything else to mention about the bunker facilities. Is it any wonder that opposing teams emerge from the tunnel so fast?

The Arcade
Now let’s take a peek at the home changing room. These pictures were taken after a training session so it does have the impression of being used on a regular basis and I’m told that the room has yet to be cleaned up by the youth team. What differences do we immediately notice? It’s brighter! There's no brickwork and there's extra sound proofing. For extra comfort some air handling & heating - it can get a bit cold in here in January. Three clothes hooks per player in a neat arrangement of ones and twos. Oh, and yet again, just the one coat hanger. Is this another peculiar feature of Layer Road. Or is it a spare TV aerial?
Let's not forget that the players are away from home and loved ones for most of the day. So that perhaps helps to explain the TV , Hi-fi and drinks coolers. Note the mirror (for the posers). Surely a bigger one might give the impression of more space and more people and therefore that we are a bigger club?

Now see this - a magnetic Subbuteo board for the players’ relaxation – allegedly our keepers excel at this version of the game. I guess it's also probably used for the occasional tactical presentation, and I noted that one of the magnetic 'players' kept falling off the board. Separate toilet cubicles, showers AND two baths (probably for Duguid and Sheringham – although I’d welcome your comments on this and some justification for your views).
I wonder how much all this will change next season at Cuckoo Farm? Are the players being consulted on the design – perhaps Internet access (with links to fashion shopping web sites), padded seats (now that would be nice for the spectators too), separate physio room with piped music and scented candles, or laundry facilities with a 90 minute turnaround time? Once again, your ideas also welcomed.

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