“We set off for Terminal Three at Heathrow after a brief training session at Canford School this morning. A few of the lads are a bit nervous about flying so I had to sit with them and hold their hands during take-off and landing.

“It would be unfair to name names but Harry Arter and Adam Smith both came through. Harry wanted to jump out of the plane at one stage but we persuaded him not to. He has lost his travelling partner in Hughesy so is going to have to man-up a bit.

“When we got to Austria, we told Ryan Fraser they used US Dollars here. He bought a load from the foreign exchange and will find out tomorrow that they are totally useless. He will probably get his Scottish fivers out then.

“We arrived in Austria at about six o’clock. It was a smooth journey apart from Pete Barry, our new football liaison officer. He has been responsible for organising the trip and his remit is to sort things out for the lads.

“He kept telling us how lucky we were because he had been over to case the joint and check everything was in order. He assured us there would be no hiccups and was acting as if he knew everyone in Austria.

“The lads were hungry and tired and he said it would only take about 45 minutes to get to the hotel from the airport. It turned out that it took two-and-a-half hours. Pete had quite an uncomfortable ride on the way.

“We were welcomed at the hotel by some of the staff who were playing harmonicas, which was a nice greeting. Ryan Fraser said he recognised the tunes and thought it was the Proclaimers.

“The hotel is nice and clean and exactly what we are after for a pre-season camp. We sat down and had a bite to eat before breaking the news to the new lads that they were going to have to sing as their initiation. I will keep readers updated how they get on during the week.

“There are three new signings (Dan Gosling, Junior Stanislas and Callum Wilson), Pete the liaison man and Alex the kit man who is a mad Mexican. It will be interesting to see what he has for us, probably La Bamba.

“After we had eaten, we made our way to our rooms. I am fortunate to be rooming with Adam Smith. He is a top lad and knows the craic when you get to the room. He has to run me a bath and make me a cup of tea at 10 o’clock every night. He then tucks me in and, in return, I will read him a bedtime story because he has never been away from his mum and dad before!”