Cobblers’ stars enjoy messing about on the river in pre-season team-bonding exercise

The Northampton Cobblers at the Nene Whitewater Centre Ltd.
The Northampton Cobblers at the Nene Whitewater Centre Ltd.

COBBLERS footballers took time out from their punishing pre-season training schedule to enjoy a team bonding session with a difference.

Gary Johnson’s side tested out their skills on the water yesterday with a white knuckle experience at the Nene Whitewater Centre in Bedford Road, Northampton.

A total of 24 Northampton Town players, including returning terrace idol Adebayo Akinfenwa and a number of close season signings, took part in a two-hour whitewater rafting session at the centre.

Mr Johnson said the session was good for team bonding and developing leadership skills.

He said: “Pre-season is quite a long period of time and I like to do different things for them.

“It’s good for team bonding and team empathy.

“It’s also good for me to see which ones come out as leaders on the day. It’s a good exercise for me to watch to see how they react.”

He said only one member of the team had tried the activity before but that everyone was enthusiastic about giving it a try.

He added: “It’s a bit of fun for the players and it’s always good for us to meet and get involved with other sporting organisations in the community. They do a great job here as well.”

Highly-rated winger Michael Jacobs said: “It’s a good laugh and it’s a bit of team bonding.

“We have been training for about a week and it’s a good way of getting to know everyone, especially the new players.”

Kerry Downes, assistant county director of Northamptonshire Clubs for Young People, who took over the running of the centre last September, said sports on offer included rafting, canoeing and kayaking.

She added: “It’s great for us to have the Cobblers here as even though this is a local facility, a lot of people don’t know we are here.”

For details about the centre call Northampton 634040.