Friday July 16
UP WITH the larks again this morning. As I said before, you know you are at a training camp when the alarm call is at 6.45am for a 7am run - after a game the night before. The full squad was involved, starting on the 18th green, down the fairway and down to the 17th, a circuit and back.
OPEN day at the morning session here in Kungsbacka proved a great success. Our regular crew of Swedish fans were joined by a great turn out from the Norwegian Supporters Club, who had travelled all the way from Oslo and are pictured below. he players happily signed autographs and posed for pictures. Mathias Bridfelt later told me how delighted the fans were. "It shows that the club is in touch with the fans," he said. Anyway, Mathias and a few members of the Swedish Supporters Club missed out on a photo the other day, so that's Mikael Strom, Mathias, Peter Borg, Magnus Tinnsten and Jan Jahlin pictured on the left.
THERE is a new fashion must-have in Kungsbacka - a Spurs pin badge. We must have handed out five million of the badges - in gold, the cockerel on top of the ball with THFC written on it - and I've seen them everywhere. Press Officer John Fennelly has to take most of the credit for handing out the freebies in addition to his press duties, alongside thousands of posters, a montage of the team with 'Sweden 2004' on the bottom. I'm sure some people here must be wallpapering with it.
THE AFTERNOON and, for the first time on this training camp, the players and staff had time to themselves. Some went to Gothenburg, some played tennis, a few rested and nine of us including Frank Arnesen, Kasey Keller, Hans Segers, Marton Fulop, Jamie O'Hara and Kieran McKenna made our way to Fors Golf Club for 18 holes. It was the club the lads had trotted around earlier and the home of the 1996 Scandinavian Masters, won by Nick Faldo. We were split into pairs and teamed up with young players from the club, who were all aged around the 12, 14 mark, and all brilliant!! Anyway, I was paired with Kasey and we were toe-to-toe - albeit both playing pretty poorly off 18 and 16 handicaps respectively) until a disastrous visit to the rough cost me a nine and put Kasey four shots up. Kasey hits the ball further than anyone I've seen, apart from professional golfers, and some of his drives must hurt the ball. However, playing with hire clubs proved tough for us both (my excuse, along with playing in trainers, and it was windy), especially putters that could have been knocked up in metalwork class the day before. Suffice to say, Kasey won by two shots, we both played above our handicap but both enjoyed the company of the two youngsters. Elsewhere, Hans told us how he almost chipped in three times while Marton, a first-time golfer, carded 168 - the Ryder Cup call might have to wait! The course was in excellent condition and, as you'd expect here, the hospitality exemplary.
TALKING of golf, Clive Allen has put together a sweep for The Open. He numbered the top 50 in the better pre-tournament, numbered them and everyone pulled out a number. I picked out 34, a certain Thomas Levet. So far, so good!
INTERPRETER Roberto has taken a bit of stick, as I said before, with a few nicknames. But he's starting to get his own back - he pinned a sign on the toilet this morning reading: 'Do not enter - Martin Jol's office'.
From Paul Miles in Sweden...