It’s day four of our trip to La Manga and the sunshine finally made its first appearance on the second day of training. Hurrah!
Though of course, Tuesday’s weather conditions were nothing compared to the horrendous scenes we’ve been told about back home, we were desperate for some warm weather and we were finally able to enjoy some yesterday.
After breakfast, we headed over to the pitches and following some stretches, the team set out to practice their crosses. There has been a heavy focus on attacking play this week, with set-piece routines, build-up play and one-touch football on the agenda – and the players are loving it!
Just check out Cara Fields’ exquisite finish over manager and stand-in goalkeeper, Nick Cushing:
Everyone’s in high spirits, although there’s always some drama! En route to the afternoon training session, we had to stop the minibus when Toni Duggan shouted in panic that she’d forgotten to turn off her straighteners!
Our striker was the centre of attention once again at the end of training, when she decided she wanted to have a go at goalkeeping. She wasn’t bad in all honesty! Take a look:
Everywhere we go, we seem to be turning heads! There are quite a few teams here from all over the world, including Spanish club Granada’s first-team. A few of their spectators decided to come over and take a look at our lot yesterday and although my Spanish isn’t ‘muy bien’, they seemed pretty impressed.
We also had a visit from a City fan named Les, who currently resides about an hour away from here. He’d seen that we were training in La Manga on the website and came over to show his support and wish us luck. That was a nice surprise!
In other news, Nicola Harding and Kim Turner tried their hand at photography, after stealing club photographer Victoria Haydn’s equipment. Here’s one of each. (I think Kim’s effort wins – though if Nicki had changed the brightness setting before taking her photos, she might have stood a better chance!)
Last night, we sat down to watch City against Sunderland – only to find that it had been postponed! Instead, we watched Arsenal against Manchester United and Tottenham against Newcastle on another screen.
Before kick-off, Steph Houghton and Jill Scott organised a raffle, where each person picked out a piece of paper with three different minutes of the game written on. If the first goal of the Arsenal-United game was scored in your minute, you’d win a prize – of what, I have no idea! – so I guess it’s typical that the game ended 0-0.
As the week has gone on and the players are building their friendships, the pranks have started. Today, poor Izzy Christiansen found her trainers in the freezer and Jill – the joker of the team, according to some – was thrown into the pool.
I hope they haven’t got anything planned for me... (That's not a challenge ladies, if you're reading this!)
This afternoon, the players are having some down-time and they’ve gone to explore the resort. Tomorrow is our last day and they’ll spend the morning in the gym before we take part in a team-building activity that’s yet to be decided.
Then, it’ll be time to come home and with only a few months until the start of the new season, the preparation and hard work will continue.