Monday and Tuesday are two public holidays here, so limited commercial activities and a lot more leisurely emphasis is practised.
After breakfast, our group headed out at 10:30am to the Old Castle kiddies fun park and the docks where the ferries come and go between various entertainment locations around the banks of Lake Garda.
Everyone was out today as we lounged in the park, played on a few rides for free, then started our short trek on the boardwalk to watch the Swans swim amongst the Italians rowing by in their catamarans. We walked through the streets as we browsed in stores before returning to a drop-off point to meet our buses for a 1pm pick up as training restarted this afternoon.
Rest, relaxation and recovery was ending as the business of getting fine tuned for the tournament took shape. Training began at 4pm at a closeby field up the road, we were told.
Packed lunches were nibbled upon arrival at the hotel, then the focus switched to preparations in our Barita-branded uniforms for training with the newly-supplied Nike Boots courtesy of Lockeroom Sports.
With training at 4pm, we followed our host uphill for about 800 km on his bicycle to the community complex to be greeted by a half-sized astro turf at its entrance. A second natural grass field was noticed and seemed unused in recent times. We were then escorted to the rear of the complex up 20 flights of stairs to a full-sized new and enclosed field turf, nestled under the cool hillside.
We were ready to commence training with size 4 footballs out, and cones and water added as we unwound to get the boys energized.
Stretching, drills and exercises ran the routes to start a small game, while parents watched, assisted and took photos and videos to savour the once-in-a-lifetime memories and share with family and friends.
The tournament organizers and managers of the clubs we are to play friendlies against later this week passed by to check us out, say hello and arrange their U17 Team training that followed us. Our first overseas session completed, we hurried in single-file on narrow sidewalks down the hill, guided by managers and parents, back to the hotel within 10 minutes.
Closing off with dinner, a team meeting and sleep, our day was concluded here as training has finally begun. Good night.