Over 70 players now have to train at a single session, on a single pitch
The University of Manchester’s Men’s Football Club is currently training on one Astroturf pitch after the club captain had a “mix up” with training times.
Over 70 players from the club now train together in one session, on one pitch.
Last season the first and second Men’s Football teams trained on a Sunday evening, but when members of the team turned up to train last Sunday, they were told to leave because the slot was no longer theirs.
Club Captain, James Thwaites, said that he informed members of the team about the cancellation through Facebook, but admitted that “it’s impossible to ring around every single person in the club to let them know of a certain development.”
When asked why the slot no longer belonged to the first and second Men’s Football team, Andy Cowen, the University’s Athletic Union Sport Sabbatical Officer said: “They haven’t got that slot because they didn’t book it in the first place.”
Chris Renshaw, Assistant Director of Sport at the University, who is in charge of organising the training timetables, explained the process of booking training slots for each team.
“All teams including Men’s Football were asked for their bookings in advance of the term starting,” he said.
He explained how after the term started, someone from the club came to see him asking why their Sunday training session wasn’t booked, but when he checked his records no request had been made by them to train on a Sunday.
The slot never officially belonged to Men’s Football, but was booked as a three hour slot by the Campus League. They didn’t have their full 16 teams last year so reduced their training session to two hours.
“Unbeknownst to me, Men’s Football took that slot up by arrangement with the Armitage Centre and then played on it,” explained Mr Renshaw.
This year the Campus League re-booked their three-hour session meaning there was no free space.
“To cut a long story short, the fault is with Men’s Football, they never booked. It will be the official’s fault,” said Mr Renshaw.
“The first time they’ve not been able to use it was this Sunday, [the Club Captain] was fully aware that they could not use it and it was his responsibility to tell all of the team members,” added Mr Cowen.
When asked what he thought the consequences of the mistake, which results in over 70 players training together on one pitch, would be, Mr Thwaites said he could see “no detrimental effect.”
“If anything it can create a positive social aspect to the club, which is of course not a bad thing,” he assured.
“They still have the same amount of equipment, as each team has their own. The coaches we have are easily good enough to work with the space we’re given to create an intense, beneficial session for all teams.”
“We’re trying to solve it either way as a club and hopefully it will only be a temporary measure for now,” he added.