It's back to reality at the time of writing as I returned to the office on Monday morning ahead of another busy week.
There's certainly no rest for the wicked after Nathan (Stanton) and myself returned to Scunthorpe on Sunday afternoon after another 1,100 miles travelled in two days.
That said, a round-up of the final couple of days were in order, particularly following the lack of time to conjure up a blog following our 2-1 defeat to FC Liefering.
Friday began in the usual style, with an early morning cycle / run before I again took to the bike for one last time around Obertraun following breakfast. The 10.30am training session flew by in an instant, preparing for the evening's encounter.
It was then goodbye to Obertraun at 3.30pm following lunch and pre-match as the team headed for Salzburg, the capital of Austria. Arriving at the Red Bull Academy, we could only be impressed by the facilities that the feeder club of Red Bull Salzburg had to offer and the surface of the pitch in which the game was played was second-to-none.
It proved to be a very good test for the Iron too and the winning goal for the hosts came just moments after United made wholesale changes. Prior to then, chances had been aplenty for Scunthorpe and on another day the scoreline might have been higher. Liefering's campaign gets underway in less than a week, so the intensity of the encounter was a good one for the stage of pre-season. That coupled with the fact that the team had already endured two sessions in the day and a long, hard week, the output from the players could not be faulted.
The Iron squad flew back on Saturday morning following an overnight stop in Linz, close to the airport while for myself and Nathan it was time to hit the road and begin the long trip back. Saturday resulted in a 12-hour slog back through Austria, Germany, Luxembourg, Belgium and eventually France where we stopped in Lens for one final night overseas before our return home.
Sunday saw us take just over an hour to reach Calais before a ferry ride and drive back, after adapting to driving on the left-hand side once more, to Scunthorpe.
THE FINAL DAYS - IN BRIEF
6.30AM - One final bike ride around Obertraun
8.30AM - Breakfast
10.30AM - The final training session in Obertraun.
12.30PM - Lunch
3:30PM - Pre-match and travelling to Salzburg for the game.
6:30PM - Kick-off against FC Liefering.
10:00PM - Arrival in Linz
7.00AM - Breakfast and time for one final run.
8.30AM - Departure for the airport / France.
11:30AM - Players arrive at Stanstead airport.
~4.00PM - Iron players and coaching staff arrive home.
8.00PM - Nathan and I arrive in Lens
8.00AM - Departure from Lens.
10.45AM - Ferry ride from Calais to Dover
4.00PM - Return to Scunthorpe, subsequent offloading etc.
7PM - Despite my tiredness, I still managed to go and play five-a-side!
9.00AM - Back to reality, back in the office - and finding time for one last blog!
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