Max on Mexico
Friday, 17 June, 2011
DIARY: Max Clayton gives an insight into the England camp on World Cup duty.
After we arrived back from the European Championship in Serbia, we had a few weeks at home with the family. However, we met up with the squad again down in Watford shortly after for the start of the training camp for the World Cup.
When we arrived one of the first things we had to do was to try on the England suits that we had already been measured up for. It was great seeing all the lads again and we had a laugh and a joke about trying on our new suits.
We were only in England for a couple of nights until we departed the hotel for our training camp in Mexico City. We flew with British Airways which was a new experience for me and some of the lads as most of us have never been on a plane so big. When we first got onto the plane we felt really privileged because all the cabin crew were taking our jackets and waiting on us hand and foot.
I settled into the eleven-hour flight reasonable quickly when we were given access to our own individual TV. I watched five films in total, including Hall Pass, Little Fockers, The Dilemma, Cars and The Fighter. These films made the flight go quite quickly.
When we landed in Mexico, even though we arrived at night you could really feel the difference in the climate. One of the highlights of arriving was when Morgo (Adam Morgan from Liverpool) left his passport on the plane and had to get a security guard to escort him back to retrieve it. It made most of us chuckle even after such a long flight!
We trained for the first time the following day and we could all see the change in climate and atmosphere even when we started to warm up. We had to drink lots of fluids during the session because of the heat and high altitude. Slowly but surely, after a few days of training in Mexico City our fitness started to improve as we had started to acclimatise to our new surroundings.
During the training camp we stayed in a lovely Radisson Hotel. I spent a lot of time during the week in the hotel room with my room-mate Jacko (Adam Jackson from Middleborough). I passed the time by playing Football Manager or going on Skype to my family back in England. However, some days we had activities we could do, for example table tennis with the boys, or going to a Shopping Centre across the road. We also went to see the new Pirates of the Caribbean film which was good. Thankfully, the film was in English with Spanish subtitles. It was good for us to get out of the hotel and do some team bonding.
My favourite part of the trip so far, apart from training, has been badgering ‘Badger’ [Neil Jones] our kit man. He is a lonely old soul in the kit room, so me and Pickford (Jordan Pickford from Sunderland) have been keeping him company. He has been telling us his stories about the glory years of his beloved West Brom, while me and Jordan pretend to listen.
Just before we left for Pachuca, the staff organised a general knowledge quiz which was a lot of fun. We split up into teams with each member of staff helping us with our answers. It was great to learn more about the backroom team who have worked really hard in preparing for the tournament.
We are now in Pachuca which is the designated FIFA hotel for the tournament and we are sharing it with group rivals Uruguay. We are staying at this hotel for the first two group games against Rwanda and Canada and then we depart further north to Torreon.
Hope you enjoyed my update, I will write one again next week.
Until next time,