The start of our first full day in London. And what a start… an incredible breakfast buffet at the hotel. We can now see why Swansea City stayed at the hotel!
Following our fill up of food, we head to the football cages, ‘Goals Gilette Corner’, just around the corner from the VAR station near Heathrow airport. The center has multiple playing fields specific for small sided games, where teams of 5v5 play in a tight area with walls all around the playing area so the game doesn’t stop, and players need to react at speed, and this increases the speed of decision making of the player. Players in Europe are rarely coaches, and develop by playing in these centers with their friends. In the South of London there is a huge talent pool of players where they have grown up playing on these types of fields, where cages are available all throughout the neighborhoods.
Exhausted from the mornings practice, we freshen up at the hotel and have lunch, ready to take on London and the underground. Our first experience of the underground was a successful one, we all made it on and off at the right stations. We spent the afternoon exploring the area around Westminster, the location of Big Ben and the House’s of Parliament, and a conveniently located red telephone box! We managed to cover over 9 miles of walking throughout the day, and that didn’t even include a 1 hour sightseeing tour along the River Thames on a boat.
The day ended with groups separating, some players exhausted heading back to the hotel early, while the tours ‘Spice Boys’ wanted to head to the shops on Oxford Street.