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#HungarySpireites - Tour Diary: Day 5

14 July 2016

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Apologies, late again! The wifi in the hotel just plain isn't working, but a trip into a cafe in Telki seems to be having more positive results.

Matchday and the morning training session took place on the stadium pitch, and for the first time since we arrived in Telki we saw the rarest of Hungarian beasts: clouds overhead. In fairness, the players were no doubt pleased with this, cooling the morning session down to a far more managable temperature.

The session was similar to a mid-season Friday session before a match with the focus switching away from fitness building and towards matchplay. After some competitive fitness work and warm-ups it was time for some sharpening work focusing towards the 6pm (local time) kick-off.

Playing 'boxes', similar to piggy in the middle, the goal quickly became as much one-touching around the circle towards a high score and as much about hunting for nutmegs. Gboly Ariyibi dared to flaunt his success in this endeavour and was quickly referred to a nutmeg he'd been subjected to already.

On the sideline stood an Apollon Limassol coach, sizing his side's opponents up, with the Cypriots in European action in 10 days' time it has to be taken as a compliment.

At precisely 2:40pm the wifi came on, right in the middle of lunch. As the gaffer alerted this press officer I dropped my phone in the olive bowl in joy.

After a quiet afternoon - when Dan Jones was seen opening his room door to the cleaning staff in just his budgie smugglers - suddenly players started to emerge from rooms with the new kits on and socks pulled up: the pre-season campaign was ready to get going.

While the wifi was back it was slower than an injured goalkeeper doing pre-season cross-country running. After a ten minute load, Twitter finally landed on my web browser, with each in-game tweet taking two or three minutes to send.

Anyway, the game was very entertaining, Spireitely not perfect but with enough positives to head back into the hotel with plenty of new season optimism.

Over dinner the new lads were required to sing their way into acceptance by standing on a chair in front of the entire squad and opening their lungs. Highlights included Reece Mitchell giving John Legend the eyes-closed full throttle treatment, Matt Duke making us all forget that Luther Vandross is no longer with us and Paul McGinn singing from Toy Story and probably living to regret his admission that he looks like Sid from the first film.

An excellent end to a positive day, and the recovery day tomorrow means more rest than has become normal and a trip to sightsee in Budapest in the afternoon, which the lads are very much looking forward to - though more than one were under the impression that a trip to Bucharest was instead on the agenda.

Internet allowing, more to come!

Iain Pearce - Spireites Media Team

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