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OFFICIAL club website of stoke city

Pre-Season Tour - Day 3 Recap


THE torrential rain that brought serious doubt to the Potters' opening pre-season friendly on Sunday was a sign of things to come as Monday proved to be a wash out in Reit im Winkl.

The 30 degree temperatures that had welcomed Mark Hughes and his players in Germany last Friday had unfortunately departed, and were instead replaced by significantly cooler and far wetter conditions.

Following the creditable 1-1 draw with Europa League side Borussia Monchengladbach the manager confirmed the players would have the majority of the Monday to recuperate, with the exception of a short period in the morning which was designated for a post-game cool down.

A number of activities were available to the players throughout the afternoon including golf, a trip into nearby Salzburg, a cycle down to the local village or a coach ride up into the mountains.

Initially, a large number of the first team management and playing staff had put their names down for golf, however, given the drastic change in weather, the numbers eventually dwindled down to 12.

The trip to Salzburg proved to be a washout, largely due to the relentless rain, however, several members of the travelling party did opt to get out their bikes and visit the local incredibly picturesque surroundings of the hotel.

The 12 that did undertake the 25 minute ride to the impressive golf course right on the Austrian border were met by equally as wet conditions, so much so that after nine holes, the eight players, including skipper Ryan Shawcross, opted to call it a day and head home.

The four remaining staff members, myself included, battled on and eventually completed the course with the team of Head Physio Dave Watson and First Team Analyst Scott Coomber coming out on top.

The full complement of players and staff were reunited at dinner back inside the hotel, where a number of dining options were available to all, including beef, fresh fish, ravioli, potatoes and of course, a huge selection of vegetables and salad.

Whilst the majority of players vacated back to their rooms following dinner, the work then got began for a large number of staff, who had been given the rare luxury of an afternoon off.

The medical team were back inside their base on the third floor of the hotel, giving some TLC to any players feeling any niggling affects from the match 24 hours earlier, whilst the analyst and kit-men were also undertaking their duties.

Unfortunately, the drastic change in weather is showing no signs of leaving us anytime soon, although that may come as a relief to the players who are scheduled to return to the training pitches on Tuesday morning.

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