The morning after the flight that came before...
However, there was no time to wallow in the throes of fatigue for City as the serious pre-season business got under way on Saturday morning.
With hardly a moment’s opportunity to take a tour of the hotel’s facilities, the lads were down for breakfast after some much-needed kip, and then out to the gym and training pitches for their first session.
Most of the non-matchdays out here will see the players face gruelling triple sessions to boost fitness levels for the new season but, taking into account yesterday’s exhausting trip, there were only two stints to negotiate at either end of day two.
Weights and stretches got the first session under way before some circuits and possession football on a glorious sunny morning on the Gold Coast.
It was clear that the boys were pleased to be back out on the field again after the 21 hour airborne, world-crossing pause to their pre-season.
Allow @McCarthy_mcfc to be your guide to the morning’s play…
Just before the session, Manuel Pellegrini travelled across to the CBus Super Stadium for the first press conference of the tour where he found members of the Australian media waiting for him.
The lines of questioning were relatively gentle, focusing on the upcoming match against Melbourne City and the International Champions Cup which kicks off in Melbourne in ten days’ time.
However, the Chilean, who probably thought he’d heard it all, was thrown this one bear-shaped curve ball which briefly threatened to descend the media briefing into farce…
The 61-year old did manage to keep his composure and went on to reveal how pleased he is with the facilities and how delighted he is with the welcome the team has received here in Australia.
He also signposted what, for me, is one of the most fascinating aspects of this section of the trip, when he said: “We’ll have a mix of the young players and the first-team [v Melbourne] – we’ve brought many important young players who have the chance to demonstrate why they are in this squad.”
With the EDS players outweighing the regular first-teamers in this early stage of the trip, it’s intriguing to see which of them will take this opportunity and who will make the biggest gains in their respective quests to come through the youth system at the Club.
The name of Cameron Humphreys was perhaps the most unfamiliar on the list of those travelling to supporters who maybe don’t follow the youth teams in forensic detail.
However, for those who are more clued up, his inclusion was probably less of a surprise, seeing as he won the Academy’s Players’ Player of the Season last year.
At just 16-years old, he’s the youngest to have made the journey, so we thought we’d make his week just that little bit more nerve-wracking by sticking a camera in front of him and throwing a load of questions at him… we’re nice like that!
Anyone who has watched this classy young defender in action will likely be unsurprised to find out that he dealt with our line of questioning like a basic long ball into the box and we’re looking forward to sharing the interview with you here on mcfc.co.uk in the next day or so.
On the way to the interview, the New Moston native was asked for a picture by a youngster in the hotel which he agreed to with an air of humility which bordered on embarrassment.
After, he confided that it was the first time he’d ever been asked… get used to that, Cameron!
Once his media duties were fulfilled, Humphreys joined his teammates for the double session which was held under the lights of Cbus Super Stadium on a balmy evening.
Tomorrow, the players have their first triple session to look forward to as preparations continue for Wednesday’s first game of pre-season – the behind-closed-doors game against Adelaide.
"See you on the flip" as they (might?) say around these parts...
City on Tour 2015, supported by visitabudhabi.ae.