Iain Russell: Still out . . . but at least there’s danger trolley

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As I sat out another game on Saturday, I couldn’t help but feel disappointed. It has been eight weeks since I have started a match for Livingston and the lay-off is becoming increasingly frustrating.

You definitely take your fitness and health for granted when you are training every day and available for selection every Saturday.

Being injured or unwell is such a tough part of being a footballer, and you have to be so mentally strong. It is easy to become down and not feel a part of the squad and be distant from all the emotions of a match day.

Dressing-room banter isn’t quite the same when you have been in the gym all day while the boys have been enjoying training outside. The boys come back buzzing whilst you have been slogging it out, usually on your own, desperate to get back to fitness. It is hard to get involved and the boys will agree that I have not been myself and have been a wee grump the last couple of months.

The one thing that the injured boys do have to keep themselves amused is to stitch the other boys’ clothes while they are out on the training field. The most common prank is to pick the worst dressed person and put all their clothes on a mannequin and hang it up in the changing room. Step forward Johnny Brown and Keaghan Jacobs, the two main culprits, you always have to be wary when they are injured.

It is always the simple things you miss the most.

A usual day at Livingston for the team would be to arrive at the stadium around nine o’clock and get into your training gear. We normally get a wee bit of breakfast at the stadium and there are quite a few tea Jennies who like to sit around and get a gossip. Andy the physio sees to all the strappings before we head to the training park for ten o’clock.

We normally train for around two hours and then all go for our lunch at Morrisons. You wouldn’t see the likes of Wayne Rooney or David Silva going for their lunch at their local supermarket in between sessions, but we have a laugh and enjoy a wee game of danger trolley to amuse ourselves.

Some days we are even treated to the exquisite cooking of Simon Preece at Uphall Golf course, but generally only after we win on a Saturday.

The afternoon usually comprises of a lighter session and lasts maybe an hour and a half.

It all sounds fairly routine but when you are unable to take part in this it is a nightmare. Playing football for a living I believe is the greatest job in the world. Running around all day playing the game you love with your pals. We are not on the money the top premiership players are on which is arguably why we are more passionate about the game . . . and is probably why when we are injured, we take it harder.