As Vincent Kompany succinctly put it on Twitter: “You know it’s far when halfway is Bangkok”.
Yep, in case you were in any doubt, Australia is a long way away from City Football Academy…
Our first-team squad can certainly vouch for that following a 21 hour flight from Manchester to the Gold Coast where this summer’s 2015/16 pre-season tour kicks off.
The players and staff swapped tarmac for sky blue sky at 1pm on Thursday afternoon, aboard an aeroplane that apparently once belonged to the Rolling Stones, carrying three and a half tons of kit in tow.
Upon arrival at the hotel on the Gold Coast, an hour’s drive from Brisbane Airport, our bleary eyed Blues quickly retired to their rooms for some precious shut-eye ahead of tomorrow morning’s first training session.
Unless they’re masochists, this is the part of pre-season that footballers dread – the start of pre-season where the hard yards are put in ahead of August’s Barclays Premier League kick-off.
However, pre-season ain’t what it used to be… players no longer report back after six-week summer breaks with pregnant paunches accompanying hard-earned suntans – most, if not all, will have cushioned this week’s blow by keeping up their fitness regimes away from the Club.
This was very much evident as the players appeared lean as they passed through Manchester Airport security and made their ways to the gate in dribs and drabs, bookended by Kompany (first player on) and Yaya Toure (last).
June’s batch of European international fixtures and the Copa America has robbed this initial travelling party of many regular first-teamers but the plane which carried us ten and a half thousand miles still contained plenty of world class footballing talent (as well as all that kit).
Nine of last season’s registered first-team squad have made the initial trip with us and many will join us as we go over the next week - once they’ve had their mandatory number of days off - you can view a full list of who's here and who's not by clicking here.
Once on board the flight, the Sport Science department handed sides of A4 out with some handy advice on to beat the inevitable jetlag.
This list of do’s, don’ts and recommendations would hopefully ease acclimatization to Australian time – especially for the playing staff who are to be put straight to work in the morning.
A quick pit stop in Bangkok (rather than Seoul), where the plane was topped up with fuel for the final leg, gave everyone a chance to stretch their legs (within the aircraft) and CityTV, never being ones to pass up a filming opportunity, duly swooped.
Willy Caballero and Richard Wright were the complicit targets as the GK Union came together to film a very funny “Teammates” episode which will be uploaded to the site and to YouTube very shortly indeed!
You can look forward to that, as well as interviews, special one-off video features, team news, picture galleries and, yes, more of these diary entries for every day that we’re not playing a match, throughout our time away this summer.
A double session awaits the squad in the morning but that’s it for today, join us on Saturday when we’ll have more news and views from the training camp here on mcfc.co.uk.
City on Tour 2015, supported by visitabudhabi.ae.