Jonny Davies: The players love our new coach – as it comes with 'Fifa 14'

The O Zone: Behind the scenes at Leyton Orient

Footballers do a lot of travelling and the glamour soon wears off, especially when much of it is spent in traffic on the M1 and M6, but there was a buzz about last weekend's trip to Oldham Athletic.

The players were all excited as we had a new coach provided by Anderson Travel, complete with all manner of mod cons. Even before we left the ground at 9am on Friday for our four-and-a-half-hour journey north, Jeff, the coach driver, was busy reminding the lads not to make a mess as they had a good root around inspecting the new facilities. There was a huddle around the Wi-Fi box as they scrambled to get the internet code and they also looked around the kitchen at the back of the bus which would later be used to heat up the chicken-and-pasta dishes supplied, as ever, by Mrs Lisbie, Kevin's wife.

The coach boasts a fold-out massage table, a coffee machine and Sky TV, but the most exciting thing for the players was a PlayStation 3. For the majority of the trip the lads, led by Lloyd James, got stuck into the new Fifa 14 game and at times even played as themselves against Oldham in preparation for the match the following day. The staff were quick to implement a "no Fifa on a match day" rule, however. The gaffer suspects several hours playing football on a video game is not conducive to a good performance in the real thing

Driving a coach with 18 players and 10 staff can be a thankless task and, despite the new facilities, Jeff got the usual abuse for his navigational skills. "New coach, same old driver," yelled Mathieu Baudry as we hit traffic on the M1.

The staff sit at the front and the new coach has some features for them too, including a monitor on the coaching staff's table that is linked to the laptop of Matt, the performance analyst. This enabled Kevin Nugent, our assistant manager, to watch Oldham in their previous game and make notes for the team meeting the next day.

We trained at one of the Manchester United academy grounds in the afternoon. Finding a training venue for an overnight trip is normally relatively straightforward as the coaching staff utilise their contacts to find somewhere willing to host us. Clubs are normally very accommodating as one day they might need to use ours.

The training session was a light one with a lengthy warm-up from the fitness coach, Lee, to get the tiredness of the journey out of the players' legs before some nine-a-side on a half-sized pitch to work on their sharpness. Much of the preparation for Oldham had been done on the Thursday when the session focused on shape and patterns of play, using mannequins to mark out the anticipated Oldham formation.

After training the players refuelled on toasted sandwiches on the coach as we made our way to the hotel. There is a fair amount of dead time in the hotel on these trips and the players take a nap for an hour or two before an evening meal then retreat to their rooms or gather in reception. The hotel bar is out of bounds. In the morning some of the lads get up early for breakfast while others lie in. About 11am they go on their usual team walk before a pre-match meal at 11.30am. Then they have another short rest followed by the final meeting at 1pm to go through the last plans before we depart for the ground.

We were below-par in the first half at Boundary Park, which fortunately was not living up to its reputation as England's coldest ground, but ended the second half the stronger to come away with a point from a 1-1 draw that extended our start to 10 league games unbeaten. Despite our success we don't seem to have lost too many players to international duty this week, so we're now preparing to host MK Dons on Saturday.

twitter.com/@JonnyDavies123

Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Caption competition
Caption competition
Latest stories from i100
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?

Bleacher Report

Daily Quiz
Independent Dating
and  

By clicking 'Search' you
are agreeing to our
Terms of Use.

Career Services

Day In a Page

Sepp Blatter resignation: The beginning of Fifa's long road to reform?

Does Blatter's departure mean Fifa will automatically clean up its act?

Don't bet on it, says Tom Peck
Charles Kennedy: The baby of the House who grew into a Lib Dem giant

The baby of the House who grew into a Lib Dem giant

Charles Kennedy was consistently a man of the centre-left, dedicated to social justice, but was also a champion of liberty and an opponent of the nanny-state, says Baroness Williams
Syria civil war: The harrowing testament of a five-year-old victim of this endless conflict

The harrowing testament of a five-year-old victim of Syria's endless civil war

Sahar Qanbar lost her mother and brother as civilians and government soldiers fought side by side after being surrounded by brutal Islamist fighters. Robert Fisk visited her
The future of songwriting: How streaming is changing everything we know about making music

The future of songwriting

How streaming is changing everything we know about making music
William Shemin and Henry Johnson: Jewish and black soldiers receive World War I Medal of Honor amid claims of discrimination

Recognition at long last

Jewish and black soldiers who fought in WWI finally receive medals after claims of discrimination
Beating obesity: The new pacemaker which helps over-eaters

Beating obesity

The new pacemaker which helps over-eaters
9 best women's festival waterproofs

Ready for rain: 9 best women's festival waterproofs

These are the macs to keep your denim dry and your hair frizz-free(ish)
Cycling World Hour Record: Nervous Sir Bradley Wiggins ready for pain as he prepares to go distance

Wiggins worried

Nervous Sir Bradley ready for pain as he prepares to attempt cycling's World Hour Record
Liverpool close in on Milner signing

Liverpool close in on Milner signing

Reds baulk at Christian Benteke £32.5m release clause
On your feet! Spending at least two hours a day standing reduces the risk of heart attacks, cancer and diabetes, according to new research

On your feet!

Spending half the day standing 'reduces risk of heart attacks and cancer'
With scores of surgeries closing, what hope is there for the David Cameron's promise of 5,000 more GPs and a 24/7 NHS?

The big NHS question

Why are there so few new GPs when so many want to study medicine?
Big knickers are back: Thongs ain't what they used to be

Thongs ain't what they used to be

Big knickers are back
Thurston Moore interview

Thurston Moore interview

On living in London, Sonic Youth and musical memoirs
In full bloom

In full bloom

Floral print womenswear
From leading man to Elephant Man, Bradley Cooper is terrific

From leading man to Elephant Man

Bradley Cooper is terrific