IN the second part of this week’s column, Derek Beaumont reveals details of Leigh’s pre-season camp.
Last week also saw the boys take to the 24-hour Marine camp, something we did the year before last. Last year saw us take a different approach with a warm-weather camp at Club La Santa in Lanzarote, which was very useful, but we felt that we missed out on the mental and physical element that the Marine camp brought to the group so this year I agreed we would do both.
I didn’t attend the camp personally, but the feedback was extremely positive from Rolls and more so from the boys. Rangi text back when asked how it went:‘Was bad at times, was in shock nearly passed out’ followed by ‘Gotta do the hard work to see what characters we have in the group and they all stood up mate I don’t think how good these lads know we can be’.
Now if I had one concern about the boys going repeatedly in a cold lake in the middle of the night it was the big man Fui. I just couldn’t visualise him fancying that. I was at a function on Saturday with Micky and I asked him how the big man went. Micky shared with Gaz and Fui and you might think he had his work cut out there getting dressed in wet clothes and all out to the reporting point within four minutes of the wake up noise.
Micky likes a challenge but he told me that they both ripped in and were bang up for it, with Fui being his usual funny self. When they arrived in their room after a hard day’s graft with the Marines, knowing what was to come from the boys who had done it previously, Fui huddled up against the radiator and put his forehead on it for a few minutes.
Micky wondered what he was doing, then Fui got up and shouted ‘Hey Micky, feel my head, I got a temperature – go tell Rolls’. Hilarious! And the resounding chuckle set the tone for the spirit shown by everyone of the squad to a man, who received excellent praise from the Marines for their effort, dedication and commitment for each other with a real ‘can do’ and ‘will do’ mentality.
Although the first time Fui got out the lake, Ando (reserves coach Paul Anderson) said he looked like he was literally going to kill the Marine with his bare hands. Leading up to the camp, the boys visited Derian House, taking gifts they bought themselves to share some fun with the terminally ill children.
It hit home how lucky they are and whilst this was to benefit the children, I also think Rolls was very smart in so far as when the lads got put in tough situations in camp, many have told me they just spoke about how lucky they were to be stood in a lake in the middle of the night freezing cold compared to those children warm in bed in Derian House.
That sends a shiver down my spine writing it, so I can imagine the impact it had on the boys. That part of the process is complete and I am sure if they find themselves stood behind the sticks behind on the score board in Workington in the driving rain, wet through, they will be able to draw from the experience of last week and realise it isn’t so bad after all.