Hola from Spain, where the EDS and Academy sides have set up camp ready for ten hard days of pre-season conditioning.
Mcfc.co.uk will be with the boys every step of the way – so expect these daily despatches together with video features, interviews and photos throughout our stay here in Hotel Thalasia.
This marks a bit of a departure for City – South West Croatia was the setting for our last two training camps, but this time it was Murcia airport that greeted players and staff after the two hour flight from Manchester on Sunday.
Filming began while still at 30,000 feet as striker Thierry Ambrose got his hands on one of the media team’s iON cameras. The footage should certainly be varied, but he’s asked not to be considered for any future CityTV job opportunities just yet.
With jackets firmly bundled to the bottom of bags on touchdown, presumably not to be seen again until we’re back in England, we headed out into the Spanish sunshine, although we did have to send Rodney Kongolo back to the plane on a rescue mission for Nathaniel Oseni’s passport…
Passports all present and correct we took the short drive to the hotel, when after a quick yoga session it was time for a well-earned dinner.
The majority of the conversation centred around the weather, perhaps a little too predictably for a group who spends the majority of the year in Britain.
Having landed in 27 degree temperatures and with the promise of warmer to come training is scheduled for early morning and early evening, so it was soon time for a few early baths ahead of a 7am alarm call.
The early start brought home exactly why we’re all here – in Patrick Vieira’s words, ‘pre-season dictates the rest of the season’.
EDS skills coach Kristian Wilson had been up at 5.30am to set up all the equipment before breakfast, so was having no complaint from anyone else at their own comparatively late start. In the baking heat the boys completed warm up circuits, with each station testing a slightly different skill among the colourful ropes, poles and cones.
The one constant? Sweat.
It was exhausting enough watching from the sidelines as the boys pushed themselves further and further, spurred on by the watching coaches.
Gradually more ball work was introduced and it was great to see Thierry Ambrose back training after injury and smashing balls into the net alongside new signing David Faupala at the far end of the pitch.
Later on, the group split into small-sided games with very real consequences for the losers – more running. In this heat, that is no joke and motivations were high throughout. Unfortunately, the yellow team soon found out the threats were serious before the ice baths, possibly a new favourite phrase for our group of players!
Anyway, enough chat about the weather. For now…
One new member of the EDS is Aaron Nemane, who has stepped up full time this season after a magnificent 2014/15 season.
We grabbed the winger after lunch for an interview about his City career so far. Born in France, he was brought up in nearby Blackley – a fact immediately obvious to any listener by his brilliantly broad Mancunian accent!
Watch out for the full interview on the website in the next few days.
Double training sessions are the order of the day so as evening approached we were back at the pitches for another punishing workout. I wandered into the gym with our cameraman, Leo, to have a chat with the boys doing their individual programmes but was forced to scuttle away rapidly when the suggestion of me having a go at the weights myself was mooted.
However, before we did get plenty of good footage for a behind the scenes video feature that is in the works – all part of our promise to bring you as close as possible to the EDS throughout the tour and rest of the season.
Finishing tired, thirsty and extremely hot (and that was just the media team), it was time to turn in.
Tomorrow is a new day, but we’re all set for another double session of training, plus we’ll be introducing the lads to a series of CityTV challenges filmed for your viewing pleasure. We’re good to you…
Until next time!
Stay tuned to mcfc.co.uk and our social channels for full coverage of the tour across the next ten days.