Swansea City will spend the next 12 days preparing for a second campaign in the Barclays Premier League on a pre-season tour of America. The new-look official website will be there along with Swans Player to keep you up to date with our good, bad and ugly Tour Diary.
The good old United States of America seemed a great pre-season tour idea at the time.
But after 20 hours cooped up on two buses, Terminal 5 and a cramped long-haul flight, a few of the squad quite fancied the idea of Tenby next summer.
Strangely, there were no hiccups as the bus left dead on time from the Glamorgan Health Club on Sunday morning.
Manager Michael Laudrup and Angel Rangel did two quick interviews with Sky Sports News and the wheels of the bus were going round at 9.30am bound for Heathrow.
The three-and-a-half hour journey included an early stop just outside Cardiff to pick up goalkeeper Michel Vorm. The Dutch stopper who was returning from a flying visit home to Holland after his wife gave birth to a baby boy last Thursday.
Mum Daisy and baby Lavey are doing fine, although Michel was quick to fall asleep!
While Michel slept, although not as much as Nathan Dyer, Leon Britton slipped up by revealing to the club’s media team about his early days as a child actor.
Young Brits was just 11 years old when he was snapped up to star in a national TV advert for Road Safety.
It was Manchester 1983 and Brits was filmed kicking a tin can down the street as he pretended to be Ryan Giggs in his red Manchester United top.
Brian Moore provided the commentary as Brits displayed great tekkers before he had to ‘Stop, Look and Listen’ to cross the road safely.
As a car hurtled passed, Moore declares: “He looks around for space’ that’s a wonderful cross; he’s got a great future ahead of him.’’ And so it turned out.
Brits revealed he got paid the princely sum of £750 for his moment of child stardom – plus as many chocolate bars he could eat.
And to prove we are not making it up, take a look for yourself HERE
Apparently he followed his debut up with a bit part in a Gary Lineker advert for Walkers Crisps. We have yet to find footage of that one, but we’re looking.
Arriving at Heathrow’s busy Terminal 5, the squad was introduced to new signing Michu who had flown in from Spain after completing his £2m move from Rayo Vallecano on Friday.
It took the ‘Spanish Amigos’ up to five with Michu joining Andrea Orlandi, Angel Rangel, Chico and Fede Bessone who, while born in Argentina, is now regarded as a fully-fledged Spaniard.
Michael Laudrup’s links with Spain were also clearly evident as one group of young Spanish schoolchildren quickly spotted him at the departure desk and mobbed the boss for the customary photo.
Having spent nearly 10 hours in the air from London to Denver, there were some tired faces leaving the plane.
There was a bit of light relief on the in-flight entertainment system though as the squad and management enjoyed taking another look at QPR – The Four Year Plan. The behind-the-scenes documentary followed the fortunes of the London club as it faced relegation and bankruptcy in 2007 before being rescued by billionaires Flavio Briatore, Bernie Ecclestone, Lakshmi Mittal and Amait Bhatia.
The struggle to get QPR back to the top-flight saw countless managers come and go in bizarre circumstances before Neil Warnock eventually took them up to the Barclays Premier League.
Former Swans boss Paulo Sousa played his own unique part in the documentary, while there was also a guest appearance for winger Wayne Routledge who spent time on loan at Loftus Road from Newcastle before eventually arriving at the Liberty Stadium.
Ironically, the sports section of the in-flight entertainment system also included a feature on the “Masters of European Football”.
And top of the bill alongside the likes of Ronald Koeman and the Argentinian genius Messi was none other than the Swans boss himself.
I wonder if he watched it!