23 July 2010


So then, yesterday started hilariously with a trip to see the boys at their training session near Albufeira. The taxi driver finally got us there and it was clearly the right place as Tommy Elphick pointed us in the direction of the pitch. Training sessions are dull, especially the stretching, but we amused ourselves with trying to work out who the players are. A task made harder by the lack of names on the backs of shirts. It came to life at the end when we were allowed to get photees with the players and Andy Naylor if one would wish (nobody did).

And so, in true TSLR fashion, to the Irish pub in the Barringtons complex. Then it was off to Albuferia itself for a quite cracking day on the beach before dinner and a short taxi ride to the ground. The game itself was classic pre season fare with a healthy Albion contingent and a decent display against top flight opposition. Gordon Greer looked like the massive no nonsense centre back we hoped he would be; Inigo looked less like the Judas who ruined the last day of last season and we looked an all round cohesive and, at times, classy side.

The second half came to life with a forray into the directors box next door to the one with Niall Quinn and a couple of wags inside. They really were nice garden plastic chairs in them there directors boxes. Quinn was nice as pie as several Albion fans harrangued him for photees but we didn't need too, we had photees with Gus and Calde only that morning. The only disappointment was the local police and their seeming reluctance to pose for a photo with us.

In the post match nearby pub we managed to convince the barman to add an Albion scarf to their fabulous array of football memorabilia pinned to the wall. Then it was a cab to the town of Portimao where late night swimming pool exploits and rather a few too many drinks followed. Having lost the TSLRite with the hotel key, a few hours kip on the nearby roundabout was cut short by a near freezing early morning sprinkler system. Oh the fun we had. TSLR will find itself here again next season whether the Albion are here or not.

No comments: