Town are currently out in Portugal as they step up their preparations ahead of the 2017/18 Sky Bet League Two campaign. Ben Purkiss, one of nine new arrivals at The County Ground so far this summer, will be keeping supporters up-to-date with events in Portugal over the next few days. In Part One of his exclusive #TownOnTour Diary, the defender describes the gruelling work put in so far and the fascination surrounding Love Island!
We arrived in Portugal on Tuesday and it was straight down to work in the gym in the afternoon.
We had a little bit of time to settle first though and we jumped in a bus to take us down to the restaurant for a little bit of lunch.
It was then down to the hard work in the gym and none of us really knew quite what to expect, but Chris Neville took us through a rather testing circuit and there was no time on it.
Instead, each player worked with a partner on a press-up station and you had to complete a certain amount of press-ups in order for the whole team to be able to progress.
It was tough and we have had mixed sessions since, mainly focussing on the physical aspect but also building the tactical work into that as well.
As with any trip, a big part of going away is the boys getting to know each other and you naturally end up speaking to different people that you may have been more familiar with.
The newer lads tend to stick together and the lads from last season obviously have people that they are closer to, but part and parcel of being in the villas here is that people have been split up so there is a mixture of new lads and players from last season, young and old and there has been a real togetherness.
You can see that at lunch when everyone is sitting together in different groups and there seems to be a Love Island group at the moment in the evenings, which I’m not taking part in because it’s not my thing.
But the lads are bonding over Love Island and I think I may need to start watching that otherwise I might be left behind!
A big tradition in football is of course the initiation song ceremony but it hasn’t been mentioned on the trip so far, so I’m kind of hoping that it is going to go under the radar!
"You can see that at lunch when everyone is sitting together in different groups and there seems to be a Love Island group at the moment in the evenings, which I’m not taking part in because it’s not my thing!"
It might be pencilled in for our last evening here so I’m fully expecting a little sing song and I’ve got a couple of options in my head at the moment.
I’ve done one of those previously when I went to Port Vale and it is always an entertaining evening.
I’m no X Factor contestant but people do seem to enjoy mine because it is so bad!
Check back in later for the second part of my diary, where I’ll be filling you in on the details from our first game out here!