Unfortunately Chris Peacock couldn't make the trip after doing a great job of preparing the team and will be sorely missed, TJ Burgess and Ben Smith both players form past tours have stepped up to take the journey with me as Coaches! It's amazing that people like this want to give up their time and pay their own way to take on this challenge, just for the love of the game! Also we have a travelling Parent Sarah Allsop (Ethan's mother) with us which is great and will be a witness in hand to ensure everything runs smoothly!
We met at Manchester airport to take a short flight to Iceland with Geordie Shore star Gary (I use this term lightly). I start to discover more about the lads away from the practice environment and we try to support each other! Dunney came up with a couple of classics on the way with his idea of Pencil diving out of a plane at 30k feet and surviving also giving us review of the Smiths who he disliked although it turned out to be a tribute band! You can tell the players who are used to and are comfortable with travelling but I think the Millennials struggle with sitting and letting time pass them buy but in general they handled the second leg of the journey to Philadelphia very well!
After meeting Otto and his yellow school bus we travelled to the Holiday Inn at King of Prussia for the night! Some made themselves at home and totally unpacked their bag! Only to have to re pack in the morning!!
The kit had arrived for us from Graph Tex who again make it so simple for us and do an amazing job, they truly are the best in the USA!
As usual the empty stomach of 15-17 year olds over ride any other thought process and we had to order $200 worth of pizza before the coaches would experience any peace!
Fed, content with having their kit and tired everyone retired to get some well earned sleep before we start the tournament proper tomorrow in Gettysburg (The Gait Cup), this tournament has been a staple since day one and will give the guys a focus and purpose!
I think some of the lads haven't got their head round what we are here for but we will guide them to the best of our ability, prepare them to play and improve.
We want to play as hard as we can and give 100%, reduce mistakes and turnovers. We will have to earn our wins!