Day 2: Jono Phillips diary and those special Sheffield Steelers fans in Belarus

Steelers on the Minsk training pad
Steelers on the Minsk training pad

It’s day 2 of my diary-bloggy type thing, here in Eastern Europe.

10.00am (our time)

Sheffield Steelers locker room in Minsk

Sheffield Steelers locker room in Minsk

Morning all.

Breakfast. The boys all made it. We all slept well and needed that sleep.

Simmsey and our photographer Dean Woolley beat us all down and have gone off on some training walk ahead of their charity walk to Belfast.

It’s -5 out there.

Arena in Belarus where we will train and play, tomorrow

Arena in Belarus where we will train and play, tomorrow

Interesting to see what state those two pen-pushers come back in.

Breakfast - well it’s not Ron’s Tinsley Cafe, for sure.

But there is a great choice, to be fair.

Your typical ham/cheese European breakfast and for the rest of us porridge, sausages etc.

Video time

Video time

Most boys went for omelettes. Lots of coffee and juices.

Then it’s on to the rink and our first training session. It will be good to get on the ice. It makes it real. The other teams will be there too. They will watch us skate and then we will do likewise.

Thanks for all the good luck messages. The boys appreciate them.

Early afternoon.

Lunch

Lunch

Arrived at the rink. As we said yesterday the facilities here are first class.

The room is excellent.

Off our room is a coach’s office and a workout room. Some of the guys have been in there with Danny Mawer, our strength and conditioning expert.

Paul and Jerry have their own office.

The doctor has his own room and the Physio the same.

We aren’t skating in the main arena this afternoon.

The captain's best side

The captain's best side

We are in a training rink. Tomorrow for our game skate we will be on the ice where the games will be on.

Before we left the hotel Paul had some video for us. A run through of some of the things we can expect tomorrow against the Kazakstan team.

It feels real now. We are here and ready to get on the ice.

5.30pm

“Back at the hotel after our first skate in Minsk.

“The boys are giving me stick for my comments yesterday about cold and hard ice.

But I have to say the ice here is really good. The boys got rid of some rink rust which is needed.

“Last time, when we were in Denmark, we got rid of that rust in game 1 when we were beaten by Minsk.

“No excuses this time. We are prepared and ready. We skate again tomorrow in the morning.

“Preparation couldn’t have done better. Buses, hotels and the Arena.

“We rest now. We eat we sleep and I hope we will all wake up excited to get going tomorrow for game 1.

“I’m told over 60 fans have made it out here. That’s some commitment isn’t it?”

Ben O'Connor and Danny Mawer

Ben O'Connor and Danny Mawer