The President of Macedonia welcomed Sven and his team to the Gradski City Stadiu
The President of Macedonia welcomed Sven and his team to the Gradski City Stadium in Skopje this morning for their first training session in the capital.Boris Trajkovski, along with his son, was introduced to the Three Lions and enjoyed taking a few photos with the England players. Only moments before, Sven's men arrived at the ground that will stage tomorrow evening's qualifier and signed autographs and posed for photos with thirty-five orphaned Macedonian children who were invited to watch the session.
England captain David Beckham has been pleased with the reception from the locals: "It's a lovely country, though we've not had the chance to see much of it, but we're happy to be here," said Beckham.
"It was nice meeting the President and we enjoyed seeing the young kids before training."
This morning's session at the 20,000 capacity stadium will give England a chance to get to the know pitch and take in their surroundings. In fairly dry conditions, and the wasps buzzing around in their plenty, the playing surface is quite hard under foot with lots of grass, and in general it's more than acceptable to the players and the ball is moving about well during taining.
With one covered stand and the other three sides open, the City Stadium is overlooked by a picturesque mountain setting, the heart of which is Bodno, boasting its highest peak.
Paul Barber, The FA's Director of Marketing & Communications, has also been happy since the visitors' arrival and explained how they have been made to feel very welcome by the locals.
"We've had a fantastic reception right from the moment we landed here."
When asked about reports of tickets sales around of the match, he added: "Over the last few months, The FA has done everything in its power to ensure this game is played in a safe and secure environment. We have been and remain in constant contact with the local authorities.
"We have done everything we can now. As long as everyone behaves, that's all we can hope for."
So preparations are going well in Skopje, let's hope there's no sting in the tail.