Sunday 9 April
Today our journey to the u-23 World Cup began with a 17 hour flight to Dubai, then onto a plane for another 12+ hours to Buenos Aires via a layover of 1 and a half hour in Rio.
Sunday 9 April
Today our journey to the u-23 World Cup began with a 17 hour flight to Dubai, then onto a plane for another 12+ hours to Buenos Aires via a layover of 1 and a half hour in Rio. Once we landed, we collected our luggage minus 7 bags that were left in Dubai! Heading to the city to our accommodation, we decided to go out and grab a bite to eat. We found a quaint little restaurant where most of the group got steak! After a nice dinner, everyone went to bed as we were leaving for Parana in the morning at 8am!
Tuesday 11 April
We left Buenos Aires on an amazing double deck bus for a 7 hours’ drive to Parana. We stopped midway for lunch and paying was a bit of a challenge with USD but we did it and carried on with our trip. Arriving in Parana, we checked in to our hotel - "Gran Parana Hotel". I can't say it is very grand, but we all have a bed and shower, so as Kiwis do, we adjusted and settled in. Not for long though as at about 4.45pm, the boys and coaches jumped on a 19 seater bus, and the scorer, 2 translators and I got in a taxi. Off to the park we went to play Argentina u18 and then the Argentina u23. The first was a nice warm up game, but by the 2nd jetlag started to kick in. The boys still made some good connections on the field and gave us some things to work on. We went straight to dinner at about 9pm, ate then travelled to the hotel and slept.
Wednesday 12 April
After a much needed sleep, we met for breakfast and had a little wander through shops close to the hotel. With the help of our translators, some of the boys went shopping. The shops in Parana open from 9am - 12pm and reopen at 5pm to 8pm. The coaches and a couple of boys had no clothes, so this was their opportunity to shop. At 10am the boys and coaches headed to the park to train. At 3pm we had another warmup game versus Australia. The game started late due to an earlier game. Another good game, where the boys continued to make great connections on the field. After the game we went back to the hotel to shower and changed and then headed out for dinner not far from the hotel. After a quick team meeting everyone was in bed by 10pm - jetlag was real and a lot of the boys were shattered.
Thursday 13 April
The day started with a wee team walk followed by breakfast. It was then off to the park for a training before our double header versus Chechia at 2pm. We played these games at a different diamond which was in a different part of the city. Both games were good and some of the boys started to get the bats going.
Friday 14 April
This was another day where the boys had the opportunity to hit the shops, and some did well! We had our official WBSC training at 3pm but we had to have the team photo first. The technical meeting (aka managers meeting) was at 3.30pm. Carolyn our scorer and I attended for the team. The NZ delegate Becs Annan came with us. This was a standard meeting with many similarities to ones we have in NZ. The bats were checked, we had to show the boys passports, and this was followed by the press conference for coaches. Steven Deans represented our team, and it went well. Back to the hotel we went for dinner and another early night. Lights out by 11pm!