Cirencester Town provide shelter for washed out Forest Green
YOGA mats and boxing gloves were brought out to help Forest Green Rovers keep competitive as downpours disrupted training.
Unable to train on the sodden pitches at their Royal Agricultural College base, Rovers boss Dave Hockaday got creative.
He called in favours at old club Cirencester Town and with former Rovers star Alex Sykes – now a teacher at Rednock School – for the use of artificial pitches.
But when all else has failed, out have come the yoga mats and boxing gloves for a training session with a difference.
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"We have been really lucky with the way people have helped us out," Hockaday said.
"Cirencester Town were able to help us with the use of their indoor arena, we were even luckier that Rednock School helped out with the use of their 3G surface.
"We were back out at Rednock on Tuesday while Monday we had a great double session doing some yoga and boxing."
Although not necessarily activities to go hand in hand, Hockaday said the two pursuits offer the perfect blend when it comes to preparing for a busy football schedule.
"Boxing is good for hand-eye coordination and upper body strength and for core strength too and young men like to have a go at that," he said.
"But when you double it up with yoga, which focuses on flexibility, controlling your breathing and relaxing and it's a great contradiction to the boxing work.
"It works well hand in hand and set the boys up for a big week, it sent them home tired physically and refreshed mentally.
"Carl Froch has nothing to fear, however, as none of my squad could fight their way out of a paper bag!"
Saturday's last-gasp 2-1 victory over AFC Totton saw Rovers earn a home draw against Blue Square Bet North club Gainsborough Trinity in the second round of the FA Carlsberg Trophy.
Substitute Reece Styche was the Rovers hero, bagging an injury-time winner that finally saw off the challenge of the Evo-Stik League Southern Premier Division challengers.
Delighted for Styche and with the performance of his team, Hockaday said that progress would have been far more comfortable had they donned their shooting boots.
"Saturday's win has put a smile on Reece's face and a smile on everyone else's faces too – it was no more than we deserved in the end," he said.
"We will be better off for the Totton experience and we know that Gainsborough will be a tougher proposition as they're playing at a higher level and doing well there too.
"All you can ask for in a cup competition is ask for a home draw and we've got that again now so the gods have smiled on us in that regard.
"We will do our homework on them like we will with any opponent and we will make sure that we will be ready when the game comes around."