Having arrived at their team hotel yesterday afternoon, Yeovil Town's players did a bit of sight-seeing today, taking in the Wembley Stadium that they will play at on Sunday afternoon. The League One Play-Off Final will see the Glovers play at the National Stadium for the second time in the club's history when they take on Brentford for the rights to who will play in the Championship division in the 2013-14 season.
As he did with the club's visit to Villa Park for the FA Trophy Final in 2001-02, manager Gary Johnson treated his players to a guided tour of the stadium, the dressing rooms, and the pitch itself today, to get them used to the turf. The Glovers boss has always been a big fan of 'visualisation' techniques - getting the players to get used to their surroundings, and to imagine certain events happening. He told BBC Somerset that there was also an element of them being tourists at the ground, so they had already got that out of the way before the day of the game itself:
"When we turn up on Sunday it's about doing a job. They won't be getting any cameras out, or doing any touristy things. That's why we're here. That's all today - Sunday is serious and we've got to win a football match. It's great that Wembley allow every team to do this, and to get a little bit of acclimatisation. You can see how the stadium is all on top of you. When the boys come out to play their game, they've to try to get rid of that surrounding, and just see the green grass and play their game. But what a fantastic stadium it is, and what a magnificent occasion for our club."
| | Wembley Stadium and the magnificent arch.
Note that if you look at the middle-right of the photo a Yeovil Town image is visible.
Photo c/o Ed Upson's Twitter
Gary added that the club had also talked about the effect that Wembley Stadium and other large grounds can have upon the way players size up pitches in their own mind. He therefore had told his players to get used to those dimensions, and to remember that the pitch itself was not too far removed from what they were used to playing on back in Somerset:
"There's still a couple of days to go. We had a big meeting last night. We've asked them to visualise now. Some of them have been over to have a look at the corner flag, and see how far it is to kick a corner in. The dimensions are fairly similar to our home pitch, but they actually look a lot bigger because of our surroundings. But we've given them a brief on that, so they're well briefed before they came here. It's all enclosed on top of you when you're looking around. When you're playing a game you've got to have a different mindset and a different feeling and you've really just got to play the game and play the pitch - and not the stands."
Needless to say, the players themselves went out armed with their mobile phones and cameras to take pictures of themselves stood on the Wembley turf and other similar landmarks, and have been posting those photos onto their Twitter accounts. Midfielder Ed Upson and Youth Team goalkeeper Matt Cafer were two of those showing their followers the ground that would be considerably more lively on Sunday.
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