TheFA.com's Insider departs with the squad to South Africa.
The day has finally come, the passports have been checked and everyone is aboard the plane that will take us to South Africa and the World Cup.
Having known that we would be part of the tournament since September, it has been a very long build up to this moment. Friendly matches against Brazil and Egypt, a training camp in Austria and two final matches with Mexico and Japan. The road has been well travelled by players and staff alike, so much preparation has taken place to make it as smooth as possible this summer.
From the work that has gone into the base camp hotel, the media centre where you will see England players talking to the press each day, the medical centre, the training pitches, the flight and transport arrangements for all the staff and all the equipment, everything has been worked on to the absolute degree.
That work is a replica of the exhaustive approach of the coaching staff in ensuring that no stone is left unturned in getting the players ready for the World Cup. Every detail is examined and solutions to every scenario have been sought out.
It is an exciting feeling to finally be moments away from boarding the plane and flying out. Since returning from Austria on Sunday evening the staff and players have been apart for two days before regrouping this afternoon at the Grove Hotel.
Tuesday was a day of huge public interest in our work, as Fabio Capello named his final squad of 23 players.
TheFA.com saw record numbers, almost 400,000 visits on one day, which is ten times the average daily amount. The story played out in our modern age of 24 hour news channels, but the most important thing to the team management was to communicate with each player individually to ensure they were informed of the news personally, and didn't hear it indirectly.
Seven players miss out, and 23 form the group of players that Fabio will take into the tournament. Difficult decisions were finally made public, and for those that were included a sigh of relief could be heard.
Having met earlier today, the players received their luggage and M&S World Cup suits at the hotel, and after a team photograph there was time for a quick bite to eat before boarding the coach for Heathrow.
Prior to boarding our Virgin Atlantic flight to Johannesburg, Fabio and his players posed for a photograph on the steps at the rear of the plane. Our final act on English soil, the team took their seats and fastened their seatbelts for a voyage with no fixed return date.
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