Tour 2012: Bailey Blog 3 – absent friends
- 10 July 2012 07:39
- Posted by Chris Bailey
Seefeld has taken the Blues into their hearts and City have been happy to reciprocate.
Despite the initial intention to keep the training gates closed to the public, boss Roberto Mancini has been so touched by the warmth of the welcome that he invited the village residents to come and watch his Premier League winners going through their routines in the late afternoon sunshine.
What they saw was a mixture of the established stars and young hopefuls doing drills with the ball for the first time this season with one session focussed on high speed, counter attacking.
The session featured Adam Johnson on the left wing. Johnson is the only England international in Austria as Joe Hart, Joleon Lescott and James Milner enjoy a rest after Euro 2012 and Micah Richards spends his pre-season with the GB Olympic squad.
Another of the Three Lions, Gareth Barry, is in Germany where he will today have an abdominal operation that is likely to keep him off the training ground for a couple more weeks.
Like the English boys, the French and Italian contingents are also absent from Austria and Nigel de Jong is due to land in a week’s time.
Boss Mancini, who last night celebrated his new five-year contract at dinner with the squad and coaches, gave everyone involved in the European Championships four weeks off.
That means there are several young players in Austria, amongst them Jeremy Helan, Harry Bunn, Karim Rekik, Abdul Razak, Omar Elabdellaoui and young goalkeepers Eirik Johansen, Gunnar Nielsen and Ian Lawlor.
They are all staying in the Hotel Klosterbrau that was once a 16th monastery and has played host to such sporting and music luminaries as Boris Becker and La Toya Jackson.
Seefeld itself has a population of a little more than 3,000 that is swollen by tourists in search of winter sports and summer walking.
Twice the town has hosted the Nordic events in the winter Olympics (1964 and 1976) and even now, in the height of summer, scores of locals and visitors can be seen speeding past the training ground on roller skis as they get their fitness fix.
One or two our party have threatened to have a crack but so far the most adventurous have been physio Lee Nobes who has been mountain running (he was quicker coming down!) and Sergio Aguero and Carlos Tevez who have arrived at training on push bikes lent by the hotel. Bradley Wiggins need not be concerned.
‘Manchester City FC Summer Tour 2012 is presented by Abu Dhabi Travellers Welcome’