This Week: Match Fitness
Welcome to This Week from Premier Skills English, a weekly review of football action for learners of English from across the globe. In This Week, Laura, Rich and Jack talk about the latest action from the Premier League and have lots of football English for you to learn. Following the suspension of the Premier League, Rich, Jack and Laura take a look at some stories which are making the news this week.
Laura: Hello my name’s Laura and welcome to our weekly round-up section called ‘This Week’ on Premier Skills English.
Rich: Hi there. I’m Rich. We’ve got lots of interesting words and phrases to help you talk about football in English.
Jack: And I’m Jack and we hope you are all staying well whether you are staying home or still going to work.
Laura: We’ve looked high and low for three news stories that we want to share with you.
Rich: This week, we talk about the return to training of Premier League players, Mauricio Pochettino’s top three Premier League players and how the Premier League focusses on mental well-being
Jack: We have chosen these stories because they are topical or fun and also so we can focus on some interesting bits of vocabulary that we think are useful to learn.
Laura: And we want you to use and practise these words and phrases by interacting with Premier League fans from around the world in our comments section.
Rich: If you listen to us on Apple Podcasts, you can leave your comments in the review section. We do read all the reviews and would love to hear from you.
Jack: You can find all our latest content on the Premier Skills English homepage or the Premier Skills-British Council Facebook page.
Laura: Don’t forget that we also have our weekly Premier Skills English Podcast that is released every Friday. Every week we help you with some different vocabulary or an aspect of grammar.
Rich: Our latest podcast is called Understanding Grammar: The future in the past. In the roleplay, Jack’s camping trip is ruined by the weather but more importantly, the weather disrupts my plans to watch the football in the garden.
Jack: You can find the lesson on the homepage on the Premier Skills English website.
Laura: You’re now going to hear our three headlines. After each headline, we will have a little discussion and look at some vocabulary. The words and phrases we are looking at this week are: to be given the go-ahead, match fitness, teammate, to go for, awareness and mindfulness.
Rich: After the headlines, we’ll have another fitness challenge and a language challenge for you to have a go at.
Jack: Premier League players back in training
Rich: It was back to training for most Premier League players last week in preparation for a return to Premier League action in June. Players have been training in small groups but have been given the go-ahead to return to full contact training this week as players look to regain match fitness.
Laura: Another step towards the resumption of Premier League football.
Jack: It’s like the players have to do pre-season training all over again.
Rich: I suppose it’s like a mini-pre season for the players. They’ve probably stayed fit as they’ve been training individually in isolation but they need to get match fit.
Laura: This is a useful football word to look at. Match fitness and to be match fit. What’s the difference between being fit and being match fit?
Jack: Well, I think being fit is in general terms. Players are physically fit - physically ready to play a match but match fitness is about having that sharpness, having those quick reactions that only come through playing.
Rich: They haven’t been able to do that when training alone but can now have training matches to regain that match fitness.
Jack: The other phrase we want to look at from the headline is the go-ahead. It means to be given permission to do something.
Laura: The Premier League have been given the go-ahead to restart full-contact training by the government.
Rich: We often hear to be given the go-ahead or to get the go-ahead when using this phrase. Let’s move on to our next headline.
Laura: Poch picks his top three Premier League players
Jack: The ex-Tottenham manager Mauricio Pochettino has revealed who he thinks are the three best players in the Premier League and there are a few surprises. In third place, he’s gone for Liverpool’s Roberto Firmino, in second place he’s gone for Manchester City’s Sergio Aguero and in first place, he’s gone for Aguero’s City teammate - Kevin De Bruyne.
Rich: There were a few surprises there but in the interview, I saw about this he did say that he was refusing to pick any Tottenham players because he thought it was unfair.
Laura: So no Harry Kane or Son Heung Min for example but I am surprised he went for Roberto Firmino as his top Liverpool player.
Jack: Yes, no Mohamed Salah or Sadio Mane.
Rich: Yeah, I’d have probably gone for those two and Firmino.
Laura: No favouritism there, Rich! You said you would have gone for Salah and Mane and, in the headline, Jack used this phrase too. To go for something or someone.
Jack: To go for is a phrasal verb. It has lots of meanings but one of them means to choose. Mauricio Pochettino went for Kevin De Bruyne as the best player in the Premier League. He chose, picked or selected Kevin De Bruyne.
Laura: He also chose his teammate Sergio Aguero as number two. Let’s look at the word teammate.
Rich: A teammate is someone who plays for the same as you. Sergio Aguero and Kevin De Bruyne are teammates.
Jack: You also get classmates for people who share the same class and flatmates if you share your flat with someone.
Laura: The word mate on its own is an informal word for friend. This is the meaning that is used in the examples we’ve just spoken about. Here’s an example you might hear on the street:
Rich: All right mate! I haven’t seen you in ages!
Jack: Let’s move on to our final headline.
Rich: Premier League speaks out on mental health
Laura: Keeping physically and mentally fit is important for positive well-being and as part of mental health awareness week Premier League players have been opening up and talking about mental health issues. The Premier League has a new stay well hub with information on a variety of topics including nutrition, exercise and mindfulness.
Jack: This is a great initiative. It’s always good to talk about problems and not bottle them all up.
Rich: That’s a good phrase to bottle things up. What does it mean?
Laura: It’s a phrasal verb and it means to not show your emotions to other people. To not show that you are angry, or sad.
Jack: Yes, we usually use it to talk about bottling up negative emotions over a long period of time. We keep bottling our emotions up and then one day boom! They explode. It’s not a good thing.
Rich: Lots of Premier League players have been talking about their emotions as part of Mental Health Awareness week. Crystal Palace winger, Andros Townsend has done a good interview and we’ve put a link to it on the website.
Laura: Mental Health Awareness Week. To raise awareness of something - that is a useful phrase.
Jack: To raise awareness of something means to let people know that it is there - that it exists. The idea of mental health awareness week is to talk about mental health issues and problems.
Rich: On the Premier League’s website you can find lots of information and activities connected to improving your physical and mental health. One section is on mindfulness - this is a word I’m seeing more and more.
Laura: Mindfulness is about being more aware of our feelings and emotions.
Jack: Speaking about our emotions and not bottling them up is one element of mindfulness.
Rich: You can find out how footballers practise mindfulness on the Premier League website. We’ve put a link on the lesson page.
Laura: OK. We’ve looked at three stories and six bits of vocabulary in our headlines. The words we’ve looked at are: to be given the go-ahead, match fitness, teammate, to go for, awareness and mindfulness.
Jack: Have a listen to the headlines again and see if you understand the vocabulary we’ve looked at.
TASK - Fitness Challenge
Rich: Each week we’re trying to set you a fitness challenge and this week’s challenge comes from Everton’s Theo Walcott.
Laura: Walcott shows some simple exercises that anyone can do at home.
Jack: The best thing is that the video is only two minutes long. That makes it easier for me.
Rich: But the star of the video is not the Everton forward but his dog who makes a special appearance.
Laura: It’s so cute! I’d say this is an easy level fitness challenge.
Jack: The link to the video is on the lesson page for this podcast on the Premier Skills English website. Let us know if you do the exercises in the comments section.
Rich: To finish up the show we’ve got a quick language challenge connected to this week’s vocabulary.
Laura: Earlier we spoke about the word teammate. Sergio Aguero and Kevin De Bruyne are teammates at Manchester City. Here re three more sentences that use the word mate. Do you know what they are?
Jack: Mohamed and Sara are studying English together. They are _________.
Rich: Rachel, Monica, Chandler and Joey all live together. They are ________.
Laura: Gabriella and Roberto have worked in the same office for five years. They are _________.
Jack: We want you to write the correct answers on the Premier Skills English website where we have some more questions and activities connected to this week’s show for you.
Rich: Or write your answer on Apple Podcasts if that’s where you listen to us. Just write the answers in the review section and say hi.
Laura: Before we finish we just wanted to say that we hope you found this lesson useful and we hope that all of you stay fit and healthy and we’ll be back watching Premier League football very soon.
Jack: Bye for now and enjoy your football.
Premier League players back in training
It was back to training for most Premier League players last week in preparation for a return to Premier League action in June. Players have been training in small groups but have been given the go-ahead to return to full contact training this week as players look to regain match fitness.
Pochettino picks his top three Premier League players
The ex-Tottenham manager Mauricio Pochettino has revealed who he thinks are the three best players in the Premier League and there are a few surprises. In third place, he’s gone for Liverpool’s Roberto Firmino, in second place he’s gone for Manchester City’s Sergio Aguero and in first place, he’s gone for Aguero’s City teammate - Kevin De Bruyne.
Premier League speaks out on mental health
Keeping physically and mentally fit is important for positive well-being and as part of mental health awareness week Premier League players have been opening up and talking about mental health issues. The Premier League has a new stay well hub with information on a variety of topics including nutrition, exercise and mindfulness.
Language in the headlines
We looked at six words and phrases in our headlines that you can learn to improve your English. Take a look at the phrases in bold. Do you understand what they mean?
Players have been given the go-ahead to return to full-contact training.
Players are looking to regain match fitness.
Mauricio Pochettino went for Kevin De Bruyne as the best Premier League player.
Kevin De Bruyne and Sergio Aguero are teammates at Manchester City.
As part of mental health awareness week Premier League players have been opening up and talking about mental health issues.
The Premier League has a new stay well hub with information on a variety of topics including nutrition, exercise and mindfulness.
The Fitness Challenge
This week's fitness challenge comes from Everton's Theo Walcott. It’s a two-minute workout that you can do at home and you don’t need any equipment. Easy!
Can you do the fitness challenge? Let us know in the comments section if you felt energised or exhausted after the session and if you managed to get anyone else to join in with you.
Jack, Rich and Laura set you a language challenge. Kevin De Bruyne and Sergio Aguero are teammates. Can you complete the sentences using the word mate?
Mohamed and Sara are studying English together. They are _________.
Rachel, Monica, Chandler and Joey all live together. They are ________.
Gabriella and Roberto have worked in the same office for five years. They are _________.
Write the correct answer in the comments section at the bottom of the page.
Talk about the headlines
Jack, Laura and Rich looked at three stories in the news and some vocabulary that might be new to you. Now it's your turn! Have a look at the questions and write your answers in the comments section below.
- Mauricio Pochettino chose his top 3 players. Which three players would you go for?
- Which Premier League player would you most like to have as a teammate?
- Why is it important to raise awareness of mental health issues?
- Can you do our fitness challenge?
- Can you do our language challenge?
Write your comments and answers in the section below.