Having spent three days at Loughborough in our preparation camp, we soon found ourselves at London Heathrow's Terminal 3 about to start our 30 hour journey to Townsville, Australia.
Standing outside T3 at 7pm, with every player and staff talking about their weekends activities, new gossip and showing off their new ink or haircut. We came to realise we were actually one player short. Who's the missing man? My news feed on twitter started to increase, especially from Aneesh Kapil. It soon became apparent that he had broken down on the M6. 'Simba' now had the race against time to make check in, no later than 9pm. It was time for the rest of us to make our way to the check in desks. Having gone through the usual antics of Passport control and security checks, it was time to sit down and take advantage of the food on offer.
Kapil made it just in time with his ‘One Direction’ haircut. He hadn't really broken down, just took him longer than usual to do his awful Kim Barnett. John Abrahams could now enjoy his duty free shopping sweat free, knowing all the team was present. EK005 is now ready to board at gate 25. The journey began, next stop Dubai.
The first leg was completed, only two more flights to catch and the longest leg just about to commence. Just the 13 hours, before touchdown in Brisbane.
As you can imagine, there wasn't a lot being offered from anyone during the flight other than sleep.
The usual issue occurred of trying to get comfy. There were a few interesting positions knocking about, with Brett Hutton's mouth catching the most flies. There it was touchdown in Brisbane and it was safe to say that some boys weren't quite with it.
It was now the turn of Australian security to take centre stage and make us late for our connection flight to Townsville. They succeeded, we missed our flight. After all, a few extra hours in a departure lounge won’t really make a difference, having now being travelling for the best part of two days.
A huge sigh of relief came as we finally hit tarmac in Townsville, the mammoth journey was complete. It was now time to collect our luggage and head onwards to the Mercure Hotel, just a short bus journey up the highway.
I am sure I’m speaking on behalf of everyone and that I have never looked forward to lying down on a bed so much before, having spent the last 30 hours sat in an aeroplane seat, with The Big Bang Theory on repeat. Having the next few days to acclimatise, it was now time to get down to business. Over the last week, we have been training very hard. The weather is something we're definitely getting used to, miles away from a blustery Lady Bay.
Tomorrow sees us facing the Australians. As a camp we are feeling very prepared and up for the battle, now it's time to stand up and be counted. Carpe Diem boys.