Another glorious morning here in Bavaria. It is my wish is that this weather continues through to tomorrow so that the Bees faithful who make the pilgrimage here to watch our heroes in their training/friendly match against Karlsruher SC witness this beautiful part of the world at it’s summer best (I’m sure this area looks even more spectacular in the winter). They will certainly be welcomed with open arms by this most hospitable and friendly of people.
A number of the more adventurous members of staff this morning made their own pilgrimage up the side of one of the local “mountains” starting out at 6.30. The hardy souls were (top row l to r) Thomas Frank, Richard O’Kelly, Bob Oteng, Ciaran Brett, Daryl Martin, (bottom row l to r) Nick Stubbings, Nicolas Jover, Chris Haslam, Dean Smith, Lars Friis, Chris Domoney.
The summit of their climb/clamber/hike was Schnappenkirche, a church dating back to the 1830s which stands 1,110 metres up offering a supreme view of Grassau and the valley beneath. I have to admit I was very envious, for whilst my heart and mind was telling me that I would love to have joined the trek, my legs snd knees were saying “don’t even think about it Gilham”.
Apparently as the intrepid eleven started upon their descent they were passed by a lady in her seventies with Nordic sticks hiking in the opposite direction. Their admiration for her was somewhat short lived though as having noticed the Bees badge she asked in her German accent if it was football. She then asked if they were English to which they replied yes. As she then walked on she was heard to say the word England followed by what we are reliably informed was a German obscenity. Bless her!!
Next up was a slightly later breakfast allowing the players a bit of a lay in, followed by medical prep and then gym work at 11am.
Training today started at midday and included varying sessions culminating in an 11v11 game. The conditions were hot and humid and the players certainly felt tired on completion of the pitch activities, which the Gaffer rightly pointed out was how they should feel after an exhausting, but very productive, pre-season camp.
I am in a privileged position as a lifelong Bees fan as I live the dream, working alongside a “premiership” back up team of coaches, medical staff, athletic performance coaches, analysts and kit logistic personnel on a day to day basis, who give 100% of their time and energy 24/7 in support of what I consider to be the most talented array of players Brentford Football Club has had in the past 60 odd years and maybe further. In return the players are very appreciative of the attention they receive from the back up staff, and themselves are a credit to the Football Club as they give their all, day in day out both on the pitch and in the way they conduct themselves off it. Once again, as I have heard countless times before, our Club’s players and staff have been very well received here and commended in the way everybody has gone about their business.
After a later lunch and the medical clinic, everybody was given some free time before meeting again for dinner this evening which was to be followed by a putting competition in which everybody took part to decide the ultimate winners and losers of the Bavarian Challenge.
Before we hear the results of that, here are the answers to the questions posed yesterday:
- What is the distance in kilometres from Munich to Grassau (our training ground/hotel). 90.2
- How many goals were scored in the group stage of the current World Cup? 122
- Which teams provide us with home League games in August? Rotherham United and Sheffield Wednesday
- How many children were trapped in the caves in Thailand? 12
- Which player scored the first goal against England in this year’s World Cup Finals? Sassi
- Who was the last English singles player in this year’s Wimbledon Championships? Kyle Edmund
- How many countries border Germany and name them? 9 - Austria, Belgium, Czech Republic, Denmark, France, Luxembourg, Netherlands, Poland, Switzerland
- What is the first name of President Trump’s wife? Melania
- Name two of the four players to score against Germany in the current World Cup Finals? Lozano (Mexico), Tolvonen (Sweden), Kim Yuung & Son Heung (South Korea)
- Who do we play on Boxing Day this year, and is it home or away? Bristol City away
- Who is the third Men’s seed at Wimbledon this year? Marin Cilic
The winners of the quiz by the narrowest of margins were Crownclaw, followed by Ankerin, Benhamdor and trailing in last place Gilespuff.
The evening saw one singer when it was hoped there would be three. Marcus Scotchmer from the Media department, was delayed on his flight from Heathrow (a poor excuse) whilst Chris Mepham who inexplicably earlier in the week promised Dean Smith that he would sing a Robbie Williams number on the last night, opted out at the last minute much to the chagrin of everyone in the room. Even when told that it would be either him or me (an old age pensioner) he still opted out. Outrageous!!
Anyway Chris Wickham who only flew out this afternoon sung his song which was appreciated up to a point, whilst I tried to get everyone to sing along to my rendition of the 1954 hit “I’m a bow legged chicken, I’m a knocked kneed hen”.
To finish the evening off a putting competition had been arranged as the penultimate phase of the Bavarian Challenge. Everybody took part (11 in a team) with the number of strokes played over five holes counting to determine the winner. Benhamdor won with 155 points, then came Gilespuff with 163, followed by Ankerin with 167 and finally Crownclaw some 5 points further behind.
It was now dusk and time for bed after another excellent day and the prospect of the match tomorrow.