When the close-season fitness programmes were handed out at the start of May there was one player whose eyes lit up.
Dean Lewington was delighted to see the importance of ‘active recovery’ on the pack handed out to the players, which is designed to keep their fitness ticking over during their holidays before they return for pre-season.
The term ‘active recovery’ means one thing to the Dons’ skipper – time on the golf course. Fitness, strength and conditioning coach Damien Doyle encourages players to do light, yet active work which will help them over the summer months.
Lewington said: “Walking around the golf course is ‘good active recovery’ according to Damo so it’s good to get the thumbs up from the fitness coach! It’s a nice way of spending a couple of hours to keep the fitness ticking over and to make sure I’m not getting fat.
“I’ll try and squeeze in some golf with Smudger (Alan Smith) and I have a golf weekend with some of the old boys – Peter Leven, Sam Baldock and Luke Howell – and I’ll try and have a few rounds with my brother as well.”
It may be a stereotype that footballers spent their time away from the pitch on the golf course, but Lewington believes the two sports go hand-in-hand.
“It’s a low impact sport so there’s not much chance of an injury, and it’s kind of the opposite of football. It’s an individual sport rather than a team sport, it’s quiet rather than loud and it seems that a lot of footballers like the peace and quiet of the golf course.
“If you play golf you could hit 70 shots in a round and 69 will be bad, but you hit one good shot and that keeps you going to play next time because you know you can do it. It’s all about self-drive and the challenge that it presents, you just want to keep getting better. Once you have hit one good shot it is so hard not to want to do that all the time. Golf drives me mad but I can’t help but play it.”