Saturday, 28 August 2010
Thursday and off to training
Travelling through Freetown to get to Achuga Mini Stadium (the training ground of Man City Sierra Leone) has in itself been an amazing and eye-opening experience. The hustle and bustle of city life is all apparent as our driver Brian, weaves his way across the challenging terrain on route to our first important stop of our non-stop itinerary, seeing the boys for the first time and watching them as they train in the midday heat.
Trying to explain to you the state of the pitch won't be easy but, if anyone can recollect the state of the shale School pitch in the film - 'Gregory's Girl' only picture the shale in red, add in pot holes the size of man hole covers, rocks the size of your fist 'jutting' out of the surface and a general feel of concrete under foot, then this would be the quality of the surface to work with!
The standard, in spite of the unpredictability of the bounce was very high. The touch, skill, passing ability and general awarenes of the guys jumped out as at all of us posing the question as to their individual and team potential were the facilities of a higher standard.
I gave the guys a 'pep' talk and had to be very pedantic in areas for improvement but aside of their communication on the pitch - everything was positive and I think they really listened and took on board what was being said.
Before we left, we witnessed Howard starting a chorus of "City till I Die" and Alex holding court to dozens of wide-eyed Saloneans on the benefits of being a City fan, this being an easy sell! Roll on Friday...