TUESDAY, JULY 16
Our first full day on Austrian soil was all fine – literally!
Our illustrious left-back Ridgey [Liam Ridgewell] has been put in charge of fines for the season – and he’s taken to it with some relish.
He’s fining everyone for anything!
So far players have come a cropper for things like having their phones at the dinner table and wearing flip flops in the gym.
He’s taking things to the extreme!
A lot of the lads are struggling with the phone rule because they are glued to them over here.
Fozzy’s [Ben Foster] struggling the most. He’s always on it – as he proved last night when he filmed Nico [Nicolas Anelka] performing his initiation song after dinner.
Nico’s a pretty quiet guy but there was no hesitation when he was called on to stand on his chair and sing in front of the rest of the lads.
Mind you, the shout from the boys was he’s had a few clubs so he’s probably had to do it a few times!
His song was in French so most of us didn’t understand it – but it was still funny.
The pressure’s on the younger ones now who, like new boy Nico, are also on their first away trip with the club.
I think Cameron Gayle’s up next. He’s got 24 hours to come up with something. If he doesn’t, Ridgey will probably fine him, too!
Speaking of Nico, he has settled in really well and his transition has definitely been made easier by having his old pal Youssouf [Mulumbu] around.
And it’s great news Youssouf has signed a new deal.
He’s been an important part of this group that has grown stronger over the last few seasons.
Youssouf deserves his deal. Ever since he arrived in 2009, he’s kept improving.
It’s all looking rosy right now and we’re enjoying life in Bad Waltersdorf.
The training facilities are good and the pitch is not far away from the hotel.
The schedule has continued in a similar vein to last week with a tough fitness session in the morning and more football-based stuff in the evening.
We had a decent run out on Saturday in our training match win over Tamworth and we’re all looking forward to another game on Thursday – I just hope it’s not too hot!