Some of the lads took "media training" to a whole new level before the squad enjoyed the first night's play in the Lion City Cup from the stands on day four in Singapore.
As the last of the jet lag ebbed away there was a welcome sense of routine drifting into the camp on day four in Singapore.
The Jalan Basar stadium is quickly becoming a second home to the boys after they spent last night at there. It’s easy to see why the squad might have felt overawed on their first visit for squad registration but they now seem totally at ease.
They were there to watch the opening night’s play from the tournament and the colourful atmosphere served to whet appetites ahead of their first Group B match with Vasco da Gama.
We arrived in the second half with the score at 1-0 to the Brazilians against the hosts Singapore u15s and were treated to a cracking half’s football, with standards high on both sides.
Vasco just about deserved their 2-1 win on the balance of play and there’s no doubt that they will be tough opposition for the boys on Monday.
The crowd were excellent even in defeat and they never stopped banging their drums and chanting (very tunefully) in support of the Singapore team.
Today, the team has again been training at the Jalan Besar stadium. It was a little cooler today, thanks to some cloud cover which was gratefully received by all. Funny how we spend most of the year in Manchester cursing the clouds…
Some small-sided possession-based games were the order of the day and I was blown away with the team’s work in tight areas. Time and again, the side in possession would look certain to give away the ball, only to find a pocket of space, find a teammate and retain it.
The coaches praised the lads for a good morning’s work and rewarded them with some down time around the pool.
For some of the squad this will be the first experience of being subjected to the media and as part of their development, it’s important that they feel comfortable and confident in front of the camera. Charlie Oliver gave an interview to a journalist from The Straits Times and did very well answering every question like an old pro.
The lads have also been hammering each other over the roll call Lee from CityTV filmed and put together the other day and are looking forward to doing “Teammates” where they will cast their votes for the bests, worsts and mosts among the rest of the squad.
With some of the chat that’s been flying around today – it’s certain to be well worth a watch when it’s up.
It's now one more night until City's first match and the party are spending the afternoon at a shopping mall before getting their heads down early for their crucial Lion City Cup encounter with Vasco da Gama. We’ll be bringing you all the matchday coverage here on the site.