No prizes for guessing the subject of most conversations around the dinner tables at City’s pre-season training camp over the past two days…
Raheem Sterling’s name has been in the headlines relentlessly for the past couple of days but he finally arrived Down Under on Thursday evening and, at the time of writing, he’s meeting his new teammates for the first time.
We sent cameras to capture the moment he touched down on Australian soil after the 20-year old became the latest to make the long 21 hour pilgrimage to our training camp from the UK.
Better quality video will emerge, rest assured!
Everyone knows that Joe Hart has played alongside Sterling on a number of occasions for the national team but lesser-known is that the 20-year was a teammate of EDS midfielder George Evans through a number of England youth age-groups.
It would have been remiss of us to ignore this piece of information, so we quizzed George on what kind of player and what kind of man we can look forward to having in our squad.
Evans told us: “I played for England a few times with Raheem at youth level.
“He’s a really nice lad – he’s a humble person and he’s the best player I’ve played with at our age-group for definite.
“He’s quick, he’s aggressive, he's always going forward and he can finish.
“Every time he goes forward he can create something and I think he’s a great addition to this team.”
Away from Sterling, there has been plenty going on in the last few days, including the very first match of pre-season which was played behind-closed-doors at the nearby CBus Stadium in Robina.
Although no spectators were present, a certain Antipodean former cult hero managed to get in to watch the game, so we charged him the small price of an interview with Nicola McCarthy to watch the action.
Keep your eye out for our chat with Danny Tiatto on the site and/or social media channels very soon…
Regular visitors to the site will be aware that nine first-teamers joined our tour party on Tuesday night, namely: Jason Denayer, Edin Dzeko, Hart, Stevan Jovetic, Aleksandar Kolarov, Rony Lopes, Eliaquim Mangala, Bacary Sagna and David Silva.
On Thursday, we got the opportunity to speak to Lopes to find out more about his successful season-long loan spell at Lille OSC in France’s Ligue 1.
Anyone who has had the fortune to meet the young Portuguese playmaker will know what a humble, professional person he is, so it’s been good to have him around again!
We’re really looking forward to sharing this interview with you where he discusses his first-team aspirations and his special relationship with City supporters, as well his thoughts on the signing of Sterling and the role youth players can play in the coming season.
Following the interview, Marcos became the latest to take part in our “Great Big Australian Quiz” – without wishing to give out spoilers, let’s just say he knows more about football than he does about the country we’re currently in!
Suppose it’s not really fair to expect an 19-year old to know who Kylie Minogue is.
Speaking of all-things-Australian, the lads had a special visitor to the hotel this morning before training, Kialgum.
As you can see below, I think it’s fair to say that the boys were just a little bit taken with the marsupial, especially El Mago!
Incidentally, Kialgum is an aboriginal name and translates as “champion” – let’s hope that this koala is a good omen…
It’s not all koalas and quizzes here in Queensland of course - there’s the serious business of strength and conditioning for the new season and plenty of hard yards are being put in by the team ahead of Saturday’s game against Melbourne.
There are still tickets available but not that many, so move quickly if you want to be at the CBus Stadium on Saturday evening.
City on Tour, supported by visitabudhabi.ae.