It's All In A Day's Work

In the build up to this weekend's Irn Bru Cup semi-final, we'd like to bring you a special preview by taking a wee look behind the scenes and follow the management team as they go about a days work.  

Gary Naysmith demands nothing less than 100% hard work from his team and having spent just a few hours in his company on Tuesday I understand why!  

It's easy to see that the Queen of the South boss places the same demands on himself.  The 38 year old and his assistant Dougie Anderson may be preparing Queens for an Irn Bru Cup semi-final against Dundee United on Saturday but it's not their only focus.  They still have ambitions of making the promotion play-offs and have already started preparations for next season!

In this fly on the wall piece - I've tried to give an insight into what the pair do in a days work.

It's still dark at half past six when Dougie leaves his house in the morning to make the journey to meet up with The Gaffer.  The trip is around an hour's drive north.  When he reaches his destination the pair set off on the next car trip of the day, heading west to the club’s training base in Cumbernauld.  

In the hour and a half that it takes them to get to Broadwood, work has already started, telephone calls are being made, the duo are talking through previous games, thinking ahead not only to the next game but beyond that too.  They don't want to look to far ahead but they have to be thinking about who will be available, if they'll have selection problems, where Marko the scout needs to be going - the list is endless.

Arriving at their office which is decked out with calendars, performance and appearance charts, tactics boards and projector screens, which with the backing of the club they installed following their appointment in December, the Gaffer and his staff, Dougie, Ross Goodwin and Liam Jukes have their breakfast routine. 

Over toast, cooked by Gary, they go through the training programme for the day ahead, discuss training schedules and work out individual development training programmes for each player as well as keeping across the latest progress being made by those out injured.

Once they're clear, it's out onto the pitch at Broadwood to set up and prepare for the squad arriving.  

This week, the day in question is slightly different as the club are under the spotlight during a media day for the forthcoming Irn Bru Cup semi-final against Dundee United.  The match is live on BBC Alba, so their production team are on site early to gather some interviews before training gets underway.  The cameraman then steps to the side to film some training shots to be used in a half time feature they're putting together for Saturday's coverage.

After a full on training session, it's more media work for Gary and a selection of players as BBC Alba, BBC Radio Scotland and the newspapers gather the interviews they want.  

While Gary deals with the media side of things, the players head off to the gym and Dougie heads back to the office where he has been working out a pre-season training schedule.  It’s all mapped out on a wall chart that fills the managers desk, it's a skeleton plan with plenty of double sessions (so be prepared boys) which will then be developed into a more detailed programme for their return during the summer.

Ross is keeping a watchful eye on the gym session before setting to work on treating the casualties.  Jukes is busy too, he is downloading information from the heartrate monitors worn by the players so the four can go through the data at a later get together.

By now we've reached one o'clock and its lunch on the go as the management team turn their attention to the video analysis side of things and how they can use it to plot the downfall of United at the weekend.

With an Under 20's game to watch in Airdrie at two o'clock, even the time it takes to walk from the office to the car park is taken into consideration.  A quick half hour is spent on going through video clips that have already been cut by Jammy (a specialist in the Borders) and with their heads together they decide what might be useful research for the players.  

It is a time consuming process, as during the 30 minutes of brainstorming, five short clips of around 10 seconds each are identified.  The clips are to be combined with pages from Marko’s report from the opposition’s previous game to make up a presentation which will be shown to the players later in the week. 

They break off from the screen to get ready to head to Airdrie, where they cast their eye over Partick Thistle v Ross County in the Development League.

Some may think that their work would then be over for the day - but in truth it's only half way through their working day!

Partick Thistle v Ross County may have finished six - two in favour of the Highlanders but its back to Broadwood for Gary and Dougie and the television screens for more investigation work on United that could be useful come the weekend.

There are thoughts they might take in a second development game at six o'clock but as time ticks past, a quick shower and a bite to eat takes them to their departure time for Hamilton via the dreaded roadworks where they take the opportunity to watch fellow Championship side Dunfermline in Scottish Cup action. 

As they start to round off their day - the duo admit it's not always just quite as hectic but it is an example of the level of commitment a football management team who want success have to operate.  It really is 24 /7 and in the words of both Gary and Dougie "if you want success you have to put in the work".

After 15 / 16 hours fully focused on football, they prepare for their journeys east and then south home but the calls are still being made, as they’ve chosen to take the chance to have a look at Dunfermline they’ve not been able to get to Dumfries to see for themselves.  So this time it’s a call to Eddie Warwick to find out how their own Under 20’s have performed in their game against Albion Rovers. 

They both agree "it's busy but it's not too bad - we're off tomorrow".  

Somehow I don't think it will be a day off for these two.