Firstly let me introduce myself – my name is Dan Cockerline and I’m a second year apprentice at Sheffield United and for the next 12 days or so I’ll be sharing the experiences we (my teammates and I) have on this year’s pre-season tour to the Netherlands.
It all kicked-off yesterday morning at Shirecliffe with a 6am departure to Manchester Airport though anyone who has read my Twitter feed will know we had one or two issues once we’d arrived over at Manchester.
We arrived early for check-in but were told that our flight to Amsterdam had been delayed…unfortunately while we waited in the departure lounge things then went from bad to worse as we heard that our flight had been cancelled due storms in Amsterdam. Not a good start!
The coaching staff and Paul Bartlett (LFE) worked hard to find alternatives to get to Holland while the lads and I waited patiently in the café with a deck of cards to keep us entertained! I don’t think I’d ever felt as tired after doing nothing for 5 hours.
Eventually by 1pm a solution albeit partial had been found and we made our way to Leeds/Bradford airport!
En-route to our new departure airport some bad news filtered through – there were only 9 seats left on the plane!
Cut to all the lads bombarding the coaches to try and ensure that they travelled yesterday rather than on this morning’s 6:20am flight!
The nine were chosen, with Trav (Travis Binnion), Rhys (Hughes) just a couple of the lucky lads who delighted in taunting the rest of the group who face a trip back to Sheffield and an even earlier start today!
Manny (Adebowale), our massive centre back revelled in a new found pastoral role before the flight. Once on board the plane we were dotted about all over the place with Jamie, our newest recruit from Bolton, managing to get into business class on his own! He received the first-class treatment! After everything that had happened earlier in the day you could say that a few of us were a little frustrated when this flight was delayed a further hour and half due to an admin issue which provided us with an extra passenger that the cabin crew didn’t seem to know anything about!
When we eventually got to Amsterdam, we found that our hotel is top notch, so there was a silver lining – just looking forward to the rest of the tour now!