Off to Italy..

22 October 2013
Persistence paid off for Andros Townsend

Persistence paid off for Andros Townsend


On Wednesday, I’ll be flying out to Milan where I’ll be taking a long ass train to what looks like a middle of nowhere town in Ovada, Italy. I’ll be living and training at the GISS academy for 3-4 days to get a glimpse into what life is like there, the quality of coaching, the players and if it’s all legit as it appears to be.


I was stupidly left on the bench on Sunday and came on to play 30 minutes. Before the match, I knew I was going to be a sub so I wasn’t nervous about playing most of the weekend like I sometimes am.  Those 30 minutes I was on, I really killed it on the left wing.  There were no second thoughts going through my mind, when I got the ball I immediately went one-on-one with the defender and beating him every time going left and right of him. This natural feeling is something I’ve been aiming to do for a while, so I was happy when I felt it. I got a few close call shots away cutting inside and aiming for the far post and a few decent crosses in too, unfortunately didn’t assist or score.


Earlier I got a reply to my email from Kalman, the man who is buying out Kaposvar football club. He wrote.


Talking to the others who know him, he is very busy and might not keep his word, so I won’t plan around his words unless he’s like “Nick, come over immediately to sign a contract with my club.”


The technical part of my game has been very strong and will remain strong for the rest of my career now. If I follow the 80/20 principle the biggest improvements in my game are coming and going to come through good coaching and improving tactical awareness. So that’s why I’m thinking of changing my training schedule so that it includes more mental training or careful game analysis. I have to think about how I’ll approach this as there were too many times earlier where I was watching three or four 90 minute games a week and not learning  or applying anything from it.


In other news as I reported a few weeks ago, I’m a semi-finalist for the Fieldoo challenge and I need to now submit some legal info and match footage, but sorting out dates with holiday plans to go back to Australia and exams, etc is a challenge in itself. Have to really analyze and see if this challenge is worth missing Christmas with my family back at home especially with the other opportunities on the table right now aswell.


Goal Journal Updates

Long term goals
Play professionally by October 2013


Short term goals
1. improve my confidence on:
  • 1-on-1’s
  • Receiving with back to ball
    & become a more valuable player by..
  • Looking for more ways I can get on the ball


– Getting better at 1-on-1’s, and find that I have a key advantage as I can shoot with both feet well and so the defender doesn’t know which direction I’ll go. Also learning not to stop or slow down as I’m approaching the defender.
– Getting on the ball more by positioning oneself on edge of box for 1 touch, shot.
– Making inside runs, you can get on the ball so much more as I found in training this week.
– Coach pointed out to me whilst playing, don’t be static, move & move. I think he was right and just maybe the answer to getting on the ball more.
– Receive ball on touchline, rather than in the middle.
4/8/13 – Confidence definitely improving in one on ones as I practice them more and more with the out of contract guys.
12/8 – going inside more as a winger to make those cross field runs, I do get more touches on the ball that way.
25/8 – go inside, but don’t crowd other peoples space.
1/9/ – trying to make more actions. Really trying to turn on that confidence.
15/9 – does better improvement with confidence come from playing with other more and taking risks, or doing individual training?
15/9 – if I compare myself now to this time last year, I definitely go inside more and lose the ball less often with my back to goal.
22/9 – definitely taking more players on in training. More shooting and dribbling. Final ball is lacking at the moment.. which is strange because it is my strength.
1/10 – Hints from coach Jermaine

  • Go inside when making that move, that’s the fastest way to goal.
  • wait for the eye contact and then make the run.

9/10- When to make the run across the defence and when not to. Pic here
21/10 – When there’s low anxiety coming into a match, you play more confidently. Taking on players, etc.
21/10 – Felt completely natural to go 1 on 1 take on and beat my opponent on the left wing. Did very well in that aspect. What I’ve been practicing in training is paying off and becoming natural.
21/10 – Hint from coach Jermaine about Defending positioning: Go in and help your team win the ball back if the man you leave unmarked is not dangerous.

2. make a real habit of scanning
General comment: Improving, and I really want to shine more out of tight positions. Getting better, but so difficult to make this a habit. Still making sure I’m purposely scanning in personal trainings and club training drills.

3. Ongoing – Find out what makes great players, great. What separates the “great” from the “good”

This kind of stuff usually gets posted on the Facebook page

4. Create more WOW moments! (making actions which make people go WOW!)

not ready to develop this yet..


accomplished: be stronger off the ball, quicker plays, don’t let attackers run inside, play long ball forward instead of risky passback, be more explosive, plan better, defend better(1/9/13), build linkedin network (14/10/13)



Monday: Morning: Training C

Tuesday: Game @ JOS

Wednesday: rest – Traveling all day

Thursday: Training @ GISS

Friday: Training @ GISS

Saturday: Training @ GISS

Sunday: Rest


  1. Fox Bland says:

    Earlier i wrote a few long paragraphs but it didn’t save :(. One question was, what training drills do you do to improve all aspects of football? I’m 13 now and dreamed to be professional by 16 to 20 (. 16 may not happen but 20 will) wanted this since I was 7 or 8 ish too. When I go our I don’t know hat to do with myself. Can you please help me with this? Thank you very much . 😀

  2. Fox Bland says:

    Congrats too man, can’t elieve how far you have made it!!! Keep it up I wanna see you on tv soon 😀

In 2009, I was an average soccer player with a dream. I started this blog to document my journey from local underdog to getting offered over $100,000 in soccer scholarships, a contract to play professionally and the experience of playing in Europe.
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