I was woken up at 7.45am by a disgruntled Tom Day returning to our room after discovering that neither the gym nor pool were open until 9am. The Spanish don’t seem to do early mornings.
We breakfasted as a team before Dom and Junior began the complex accreditation process with the EUSA. Junior’s multilingual skills ensured everything went smoothly and soon we were all registered and free to chill by the pool for the rest of the morning.
A hilarious incident with the Irish women’s team followed, as four of their players ended up trapped in the lift. Naturally Tom provided a calming influence to the situation, telling them that help was on its way and that, really, they should have taken the stairs; something one of the apparently claustrophobic Irish girls didn’t seem to appreciate!
We then had our first training session and the heat really hit us. We had a relatively gentle session but it still hammered home the challenge of playing at these sort of temperatures. It was good to have a futsal back at our feet though as our last training session together was weeks ago.
Afterwards we had our lunch before spending some more time at the pool, whilst Dom and Junior attended a meeting. At the end of this was the eagerly awaited draw for the competition. All the teams had been seeded and split into three pools. There would be eight leagues of three teams, with one team from each pool in every group. We were seeded in pool 2.
After a tense wait, we were drawn with Vern (Croatia – pool 1) and Örebro University (Sweden – pool 3). Without underestimating either of these teams, we were delighted with the draw as we managed to avoid the biggest household names.
On top of all this was the fantastic news that we wouldn’t play our first game until Tuesday, meaning our squad would be at full strength for both group games with the arrival of Alex Tringham late on Monday night.
Our group games will be against the Swedes at 5pm on Tuesday, and then against the Croatians at 5pm on Wednesday.
Dom and Junior brought us the good news and we went for a short walk exploring Antequerra. Soon we were back at the hotel, and all kitted up in our merch and our Yorkshire flag ready for the opening ceremony.
None of us were quite sure what to expect, but we weren’t disappointed. We marched out behind the Union flag with music blaring in front of nearly a thousand people. Its hard to do it justice in writing, so check out the quick video Tom took.
We headed back to the hotel for food before going to bed full of anticipation. The first day of the tournament awaited us in the morning.