Anthony Redwood (Academy Operations Manager) reports back from the U18 pre-season tour in Lanzarote and gives us an insight into the week with the U18 players and staff...
Day 2 - Thursday 19 July 2012
"A good night's sleep was much-needed and all have now settled in to their new surroundings. The food has been excellent and we met at 8am today for breakfast. The players have had a hard few days of training, both at home and in Lanzarote, so some hours of relaxation are in order
"Our friends in Puerto Del Carmen arranged a morning of Go-Karting at a local track and promised to be an interesting couple of hours! Ben Watkins made his mark by walking away with the trophy, followed closely by Theo Wharton. Neil Lewis made third spot but is still not talking to Lee Kendall after sabotaging his quest for victory. Yora Enzam brought a somewhat pedestrian approach to the event by adhering to conventional speed limits and shouts of 'Driving Miss Daisy' could be heard throughout the squad. I'm not saying he was slow, but if he'd have had indicators and wing mirrors, he would have used them. All in all a great morning of fun which was gratefully received by all.
"The players have been very sensible in terms of hydration and exposure to the searing heat, something all too important in the climate. It is unfamiliar to many of the players, especially the new first year apprentices. Their attitudes have also been impeccable and already we have seen a clear focus amongst the group, something which will bode well for them with another demanding season ahead.
"In the early evening our coaching staff watched a Puerto Del Carmen U18 training session and were suitably impressed with the standard on show. For our players, they will face a stern test on Saturday against a team who like to keep and pass the ball, being comfortable in possession. The intense heat will also be a challenge for the lads. Nevertheless, we hope the standard of the opposition will be very high - should we forge a long-term affiliation then it will provide endless opportunities in terms of recruitment of players from the ages of 14-18.
"In other news, 'Walking Cardiff City FC Advert' Rhys Carr hasn't been seen in anything other than Cardiff City kit since Tuesday. David Gough has recreated his bedroom from home by placing framed pictures of his girlfriend around the apartment. They celebrate four years as a couple today, so maybe we should go easy on him. Brad Williams is taking advantage of the all-inclusive facility at the complex by eating copious amounts of ice-cream. Alan Cross (Kit Manager) has managed to walk pretty much the entire island in the last two days and could literally regale us with the history of Lanzarote dating back to the 1800s. Luckily enough I've roomed him with Rhys Carr, but I'm sure he'll corner me on it at some point!
"The evenings have been very relaxed, with all players and staff mixing around the pool bar area. Academy Staff ran away with the hotel movie quiz title, with the players flagging badly. Lee Skyrme (U18 Coach) showed what he does with his spare time by answering nearly all 0 questions by himself. If Coaching doesn't work out, a career in the footsteps of Barry Norman is certainly on the cards.
More to come from Anthony in the coming days!