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Tenerife Diary: Day Two

After a late afternoon arrival on Monday, day two offers the first chance for Lee Johnson to really put his players through their paces.

With training scheduled for 10am, Dean Holden whisks the defenders away after breakfast for some intense scenario-based drills in which the players take turns to defend two against two, and latterly two against three, as if caught on the counter-attack.

Meanwhile, Johnson and Jamie McAllister take the midfielders and forwards for some training on when to press the opposition when they have the ball in their own half of the field.

Before the players return to the hotel for lunch, it’s time to cool off in the pool with some stretching exercises to relax their muscles.

Training is productive from a media point of view too, as Gustav Engvall and Hordur Magnusson sit down for extended chats with BCTV. Both are excited to get started on their second seasons at Ashton Gate having fulfilled their respective international commitments over the summer (Magnusson interview will be available tomorrow).


"My target is to help the team and play more minutes than I did last year. I know we have good strikers, but it’s up to me to show what I can do."

Gustav Engvall

We’re on a roll at this point, so we make our way to room 25 after lunch – the loudest room in the hotel.

Hopefully you’ve already seen Callum O’Dowda and Josh Brownhill’s hilarious attempts to identify sports stars on BCTV, and this time it’s the turn of Marlon Pack and Aden Flint to describe famous people from the music industry.

With four to a room, we also corner Jamie Paterson and Matty Taylor, whose cartoon characters edition will air tomorrow. It’s such a simple concept but by the end of the two shoots all six of us were in fits of laughter, so let’s hope the fans are equally amused!

At 4pm the players are to meet at the CrossFit gym for a series of power exercises including weight lifting, medicine ball work, chin ups, sit ups and planking.

There’s plenty more activity to come as the players’ next port of call is a special Bristol City Beach Soccer tournament. The designated facility has two sand-filled five-a-side pitches, sparking a fun but competitive round robin format.

Frank Fielding proves to be the star of the show as chief goal poacher, defying the odds to take home the tournament Golden Boot award with four goals, proving there’s more to his game than keeping the ball out of the net.

Fielding’s team featuring Pack, O’Dowda, Taylor Moore and Lloyd Kelly are the eventual champions.

Marlon Pack shows off his silky skills on the Beach Soccer pitch
City's players relax in the pool after a tough session in Tenerife
Gustav Engvall stops for a catch-up on his return to City training

Before long it’s time for dinner followed by an organised virtual races night; enter Scott Murray as compère for the evening.

As usual emotions run high when winning is up for grabs, but experience tells as club captain Aaron Wilbraham leads his team to victory alongside goalkeeping coach David Coles, head physio Steve Allen and man of the moment Fielding, who can do no wrong.

Phew. That was a lot to cram in! Day three promises to be slightly more relaxed, with the lads heading off on a team bonding trip to Tenerife’s famous Siam Park waterpark after morning training.

What a life, eh?