Day 1 - Wednesday 18th July 2012
"The long-awaited pre-season trip has finally arrived, with seven days in Lanzarote as the destination for this year's tour. The objective of the tour is not only to provide a week of intense training for the players, but also to explore the opportunity of establishing an affiliation with local Club Puerto Del Carmen FC.
"An early start of 2am for most was demanding for players and staff, although (almost) all arrived on time and we arrived in Lanzarote at approx. 11.15am. Many had managed forty winks on the plane, although for me - sat alongside Lee Kendall (Goalkeeping Coach) - this was never going to be an option. He talks so much it is almost like I'm being punished for something in a previous life. I must remember to change that rooming list...
"We were greeted by associates of the Club and duly escorted to the Flora Apartment Complex which will now be our home for the next seven days. I must say the players have displayed a superb attitude and approach to the week and obviously realise how important our time here will be. Everybody is different and we accept that they may all need different styles of coaching and guidance. We will get to know their characteristics and traits - who are the quiet ones, who are the loud ones, what their mentality is like, who will need guidance, who wont.... many of the players and staff have already come out of their shell and their characters are starting to take shape in the new environment of Professional Football.
has already started where he left off and lived up to his nickname of 'Trigger'. After being told to stay out of the sun this afternoon prior to the first training session, he was spotted five minutes later in the pool in the middle of a hotel water polo match. When I pulled him out, his words were 'But Reds, we were 2-0 up - I scored twice!'David Richards"
's hairdresser, someone who, although he's not here, will no doubt acquire celebrity status in the not too distant future. His style is certainly and evidently 'unique'.Kane Owen (Sports Scientist) has only brought two pairs of shorts and t-shirts and is practically living in his Club apparel. Most of the limelight in the last 24 hours has been hogged by Rhys Carrhas been acting like he's never been abroad before. He's taken pictures of everything from the safety guidelines on the plane to the hotel reception area. (U18 Assistant Coach)David Gough"
"The elder statesmen of the squad look like they are more than ready for the new challenge this season. Tommy O' Sullivan and Theo Wharton are quietly going about their day with admirable humility and their attitudes are an example of the standards not only that we set, but the standards they set themselves.
on a video diary over the course of the week.Dane Griffiths has had a recent setback which means he will be limited to the amount of training he can do this week. Regardless of his quiet nature, Tom has an admirable self-assurance which will no doubt stand him in good stead for his career. He has already mixed well with the group and is working with Tom James is a man mountain and leads the pack well. His confidence, loudness, and good nature makes many feel at ease and im sure will rub off on the quieter lads of the group. Josh Yorwerth"
"The first training session took place this evening at the local 3G pitch, approximately, ten minutes walk from the hotel. For Jaye Bowen it seems like at least a forty-five minutes trek, something he has constantly reminded me about. We may have to order him a taxi every day just to relax him.
"Many of the locals, staff and players at the Club arrived to take a look after what I'm told has been a good amount of publicity in the local media. Our game against Puerto Del Carmen U18 on Saturday should provide a good spectacle and we are expecting a decent crowd for the match.
"I must say the reception we have received thus far has been amazing. The hotel staff and guests have been very helpful. Representatives of Puerto Del Carmen - most notably Danny, John, Sylvia and Jack - have extended warm hospitality to the entire party. We have everything in place for an exciting week ahead which will no doubt strengthen our relationship as we look towards a long-term affiliation.
"The anticipated arrival of Neal Ardley (Academy Manager) on Saturday will be welcomed greatly by all. Due to first team and U21 requirements, Neal has had to stay behind for the next few days. I'm sure his presence will be well-received by all here at the camp and trust he wont bring the British weather with him."
More to come from Anthony in the coming days!