NORMALLY, us players are very fortunate and will eat both breakfast and lunch at Staplewood.

We have some brilliant chefs and nutritionists who tailor what we eat according to our training schedule and ensure our diet is just right.

It’s vitally important for our training and gym work that we have the right fuel inside our bodies to allow us to prepare for and recover from sessions.

I’m usually one of the first into breakfast. On a normal day, the main group will be asked to report somewhere around nine o’clock but I like to arrive around eight o’clock and get my food on board slightly earlier, as us goalkeepers usually head out to the pitch before the other lads.

I tend to get something like an omelette or some yoghurt or porridge with a fresh smoothie and maybe some juice. I know a lot of people in wider society sometimes skip breakfast but, in my eyes, it’s the most important meal of the day and sets me up for my physical work. 

Then, for lunch, I’ll go for chicken or maybe some fish with a bit of rice or pasta and some vegetables. It’s all really clean food with minimal fats and the right amount of protein and carbohydrates.

I know it’s a pretty obvious thing to say but eating well and eating the right things is so key.

I remember a few sessions in the first-team gym where us lads have spoken about that exact point: how we can all feel if we’ve maybe not eaten enough or not eaten the right food as it definitely has an effect on performance.

It’s obviously down to us at the moment to make sure we are eating healthily and I’m actually really enjoying doing more cooking than usual and getting hands-on in the kitchen.

The nutritionists and sports science guys are in touch with us all regularly and are giving us eating plans but there is also that freedom for us to mould what we are eating, according to our tastes and requirements.

I’m trying to stick to what I would normally have to keep things consistent with our usual diet but the load isn’t perhaps the same as being out on the pitch so there are a few alterations.

I’m lucky that I’ve had some regular deliveries of fresh vegetables, fruits and essentials like eggs and milk delivered to my door from local suppliers so I’ve been cooking for the family quite a bit.

I’ve been making things like fresh grilled salmon, pesto chicken, spring onion omelettes, stir fry and spicy chicken sauces with rice.

I find it quite relaxing to put together nice dishes and I haven’t had too many complaints as of yet.

My little ones, Baylie and Lake, get involved too and cooking tea has turned into a bit of family event, which has been nice.

The club have also found a range of websites that they’ve sent us on WhatsApp if we want to order any fresh, pre-prepared meals. I’ve also tried a few of those and have been impressed.

From what I’ve heard around the dining table in the first-team canteen, there are a few of the lads who fancy themselves as chefs and I reckon a few of them will be relishing all the cooking, especially the likes of Pierre and Jan. 

Others, maybe not so much but I will spare their blushes.

Hope you are all in good health!