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Page last updated at 19:08 GMT, Thursday, 10 December 2009

Bradley Pritchard column

By Bradley Pritchard
Tamworth midfielder

Bradley Pritchard
I spent a day in Nottingham town centre and didn't buy a single thing. I would've asked one of the lads to help me, but it may have been a case of the blind leading the blind

On Christmas shopping for his girlfriend

Last week was a real disappointment for us as a collective because it was a game we were desperate to win. I think we are creating chances but our ability to finish hasn't been as clinical as we would like, but it hasn't been for the want of trying.

The atmosphere around the ground last Saturday was pretty tense, because even though we had conceded within the first 15 minutes, it felt like people were beginning to panic.

This obviously had an adverse reaction on the boys on the field. I know many think we shouldn't allow ourselves to be dictated by the crowd, but for many of us, this is a novel experience for our young side.

As the cliche goes, if we'd been offered this position at the start of the season, I think the majority associated with the club would have accepted it wholeheartedly.

After the game, we had our Christmas night out. A lot of us weren't in the mood to have a night out, but it made it easier because we were there as a group.

There wasn't really much to talk about, besides the fact that despite being the oldest in the squad, Macca (Neil Mackenzie) acts the youngest out of all of us.

I don't know many others who would have a pair of joke glasses, fake Austin Powers teeth, fart spray, and a mask all stuffed into his back pocket, lying in wait for the best moment to show them off. If only you could have seen the look on the bouncer's face when he searched Macca's pockets. He was by far the funniest person I've been out with.

Training on the Monday was tough. If anyone felt lazy after the Christmas night out, it was sweated out of them by the end of the day.

The gaffer (Gary Mills) ran us to the point of exhaustion. From there it was quick lunch and then off to the gym.

So the gaffer gave us a day off and in complete honesty we needed it. There has been some walking wounded playing in the last few weeks, so it's good to have a day to rest and recuperate

The boys hit the weights hard for a bit then we all found solace in the sauna and steam room. It was a very quiet journey back in car school.

So the gaffer gave us a day off and in complete honesty we needed it. There has been some walking wounded playing in the last few weeks, so it's good to have a day to rest and recuperate.

With that in mind, however, some of the lads haven't exactly had the most relaxing rest period. Jake's (Jake Sheridan) spent the majority of his day off stripping wallpaper in his house, and Smudger (Chris Smith) had to start his festive decorations, which are deceivingly time consuming.

My day off has consisted of Christmas shopping, but it hasn't necessarily been that easy. I haven't got a problem shopping for my family, but once it changes to shopping for my girlfriend, then I haven't got a clue.

I spent one of the days walking through Nottingham town centre for several hours and didn't buy a single thing. I would've asked one of the lads to help me, but it may have been a case of the blind leading the blind.

After our day off we went back into training with a bit of a spring in our step. At the end of our shooting filled session we had the 'circle'.

The usual faces were seen in contention. Browny (Simon Brown) found out he can't laugh at others and pass the ball at the same time. Des (Des Lyttle) realised that his shin can't direct the ball where he wants, and that Dale Belford can talk himself out of selection to sing.

At the end, the decision was made. The bottom three was Blacks (Michael Blackwood), Gurks (Gurkan Ulker) and for the first time ever, Macca. Macca was chosen.

It was a slow start to his performance of "Thank you for the Music" by Abba, but he got into it towards the end and hit the high notes well.



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