Cobblers tour diary... Chris Lines on hard work, team bonding, hammering Nicky Adams at pool and enjoying the Spanish sunshine (but no mention of Keith Curle's Hat)

The Cobblers squad ahead of their first training session in Spain (Pictures: Pete Norton)
The Cobblers squad ahead of their first training session in Spain (Pictures: Pete Norton)

The Cobblers are going through their training camp paces in Spain this week, and each day a player will give a little insight into what has been going in at the Pinatar Arena Complex in Murcia.

The team arrived on Sunday evening, and trained for the first time on Monday. Here, Chris Lines, who was signed from Bristol Rovers in the summer, gives his take on proceedings so far.

Cobblers boss Keith Curle

Cobblers boss Keith Curle

"The facilities here are really nice, it's probably one of the best that I've been to which is good. The training pitches were excellent and we managed to get a good session in this evening. The hotel is brilliant and the food is really nice so it's been really positive so far.

"The squad had a bit of downtime this morning after arriving late last night and this afternoon just so we could get acclimatised and ready for a tough session in the evening, so we had breakfast around 10am.

"It made a change to wake up around that time as I usually have the little one waking me up around 7am! There was some thunder and lightning this morning so we stayed in the hotel and just chilled out and managed to eventually enjoy some sunshine in the afternoon.

“I then played Nicky Adams at pool, he's just asked me for a rematch now because I 7-balled him so we were trying to get him banned from the table for 24 hours! But he obviously wants to play again and get his own back now so we'll see what happens in the rematch.

Chris Lines in action for the Cobblers at Sileby on Saturday

Chris Lines in action for the Cobblers at Sileby on Saturday

“We then got ready for training and had a really strong session this evening. When you get pitches like we have here it's much easier to do the sessions that we want to do as it's heavily based on passing and moving the ball and the session we did was based around that.

"The surface is great, it's watered before each session and it was a tough, but really enjoyable workout tonight.

“I love being in and playing in the sun, it's good for the body and for the legs, especially when you get a bit older like me! So that makes it easier to warm up and not get as stiff like you are in the winter back in England.

"When it is this hot though it is difficult, you can train for a couple of hours but the recovery and the rest is just as important. You need to make sure you're getting plenty of water and good food on board so that you're properly fuelled.

Andy Williams and Matty Warburton at work

Andy Williams and Matty Warburton at work

“I signed here this summer and it's been easy to settle in so far, I've been in the game for quite a long time so that definitely helps when it comes to joining new clubs. When you're a bit older like myself you already know the majority of the players as you've more than likely played with or against them before.

“All of the new players are bonding really well, we have a great bunch of lads, everyone is physically fit which is something I've noticed since I joined, the standards are really high and really good which has probably enabled the manager to get onto the footballing side a little bit quicker.

"Everyone is getting along together and everyone's pushing each other on, and that's something which will be massive for us this season as a good team spirit often gets you good results.

“We've got a really good balance in the squad, we're physically strong but within that there's some very good technical players as well so we'll be able to mix it up in terms of playing styles.

"We have a game to look forward to later this week which is also massive for our fitness. You can do a lot of running but you can't quite replicate a match so those first few 45-60 minutes of a pre-season game are tough, but then it's about upping the levels to 90 minutes so you're ready to hit the ground running.

“We're now enjoying some recovery time ahead of our training session in the morning, I've just got off the phone to my family and gave my little one a ring as she's back in London at the minute, although because we trained this evening she was a bit drowsy when I called!

"My family are massive for me, they're the most important thing for me and it comes hand in hand with football. They always want to see me do well so hopefully that can be the case this season.”