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G-Mac's Tour Diary - Day Two

19 July 2014

Defender reveals new boy Brown Ideye already has a nickname

OUR new club record signing has yet to even meet the lads – but he’s already got a nickname!

We saw a tweet from Brown Ideye, who joined from Dyanmo Kiev on Friday, stating he wants to be known here as ‘Bobby’.

Dozza [Graham Dorrans] caused much amusement when he suggested Bobby should be shortened to the Scottish version of Robert…so Brown’s been christened ‘Rab’!

That works for me. We intellectually-challenged footballers always shorten names…as they’re easier to remember!

Joking aside, it’s big news when a club breaks their transfer record and we’re looking forward to working with Brown when we return to the UK.

It’s common knowledge the club have been looking to boost our attacking options and we’ve been getting the lowdown on our new striker from Big Vic [Victor Anichebe], who knows Brown from the Nigeria international set-up.

You can tell from Brown's tweets and the video interview he did for this website [to view, click here] that he’s really excited about the move and that can only be a good thing.

I like what he said, that he’s coming here to score goals and help us win games. He really wants to prove himself to the Albion fans and in the Barclays Premier League and we’ll hopefully benefit from that.

It’s been a busy 24 hours for the club on the transfer front and George Thorne has moved in the opposite direction to join Derby. George obviously decided this was the right move for his career and we wish him well.

Our first full day in California was a tough one. After breakfast, we made the 30-minute drive to our training base at Cosumnes River College. As you’d expect with an American college, the set-up is impressive. We have all the facilities we need.

The fully-fit lads had a double session, featuring physical, technical and tactical work in the morning and a strength-and-conditioning/injury prevention workout in the evening.

I’m nursing a calf problem and for the lads carrying knocks – like Mozza [James Morrison], Brunty [Chris Brunt] and Joleon [Lescott] – it’s a real grind, because all you want to do is train.

Being injured means a ten-hour day of hard work. I underwent a strength-and-conditioning session in the gym in the morning, which is intended to help me avoid setbacks when I’m able to resume full training.

After lunch, it was treatment time and a massage with the physios – but the worst was still to come. 

After returning to the college at 5pm, Joleon and I were put through a punishing bike session, which was not made any easier by the tropical conditions inside the gym. It was about 45°C! We then wrapped up with a jog around the campus before heading to the hotel for dinner.

Afterwards, I popped out with Brunty and Bairdy [Chris Baird] to have a coffee with our Northern Ireland international team-mate, 'Dixie' Dean Shiels.

Dixie is in Sacramento with Glasgow Rangers, who are based in a hotel just around the corner. Rangers are playing Sacramento Republic – the USL Pro team we face twice next week – on Saturday evening.

We were hoping Dixie could sort us some tickets so we can go on a scouting mission for the gaffer, but the match is pretty much sold out. Fingers crossed he comes good!

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