Sacramento v Rangers proves a real fairground attraction
SO we managed to get tickets for Glasgow Rangers’ match against this week’s opponents Sacramento Republic on Saturday night – but that’s only half the story!
During my football career, I don’t think I’ve ever seen anything like what greeted us as we arrived at Sacramento’s Bonney Field stadium – where the California State Fair is currently based!
The match took place against a backdrop of livestock, flashing fairground rides, stalls and even a water slide.
The state fair will still be in situ when we play Sacramento on Monday and Friday – so the lads’ concentration levels will be tested to the max!
I was joined at the Rangers game by big Joleon [Lescott], Brunty, Mozza and Dozza. The gaffer and his staff were also there checking out our opponents.
Due to our evening training session, we were only able to get to Bonney Field with five minutes of the first half remaining.
My Northern Ireland mate ‘Dixie’ Dean Shiels came on in the second half and Rangers edged it 2-1 with a late winner. Not that we saw the deciding goal. We’d scarpered five minutes before the end to dodge the traffic!
The lads had to endure soaring temperatures when they reported for the morning training session, which involved a lot of running and ball work.
At least that’s one plus point of my rehab work in the gym…I don’t need to bother putting on sun cream!
I was put through my paces on the aerofloor – a spongy platform which helps you complete balance and stability exercises without putting stress on your joints.
Then came arguably my personal highlight of the tour thus far. At lunch, the hotel laid on jelly for dessert. Jelly makes everyone happy! Some of the lads even had ice cream. We were like big kids stuffing their faces!
It was even hotter when we returned to Cosumnes River College for the evening training session. The temperature must have been at least in the mid-30s.
It was back in the gym for yours truly and a tough circuit training workout. But the effort we’re exerting will all be worth it when the season gets underway.
Everyone was shattered after dinner and I, for one, am sleeping a bit better now.
Most of the lads’ body clocks have adjusted better to our new time zone. There’s certainly less players wandering around the hotel in the middle of the night because they can’t sleep!