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Wolves in Shanghai: Nathan Judah's Day 5 tour diary

By Nathan Judah | Wolves | Published:

It's becoming groundhog day from a sleep point of view - and not in a good way!

Tour Diary

Just one hour last night and nine in the last 72 doesn't make for a hugely bright and breezy camper!

Still I'm sure I'll get on the timezone by the day of our departure.

But nothing could dampen the spirits for the first game of the season.

The fanfare has been amazing, but now starts the serious stuff.

To get to the Asia Trophy opener - we had to catch a two hour train to Nanjing.

Nice and easy, turn up 20 mins before and find your platform.

Oh no! How about turn up two hours before, with your passport, go through airport-like security and find your platform in a hall the size of Heathrow T1,T2 and T3 combined.

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And by the way, they don't take card here, so Spiers and I bundled all the money we had together to buy two tickets (business class of course) to our destination.

Once we arrived at the train, it took us around 15 mins to find our carriage...but we had an air conditioned room and electric seats - time to catch 40 winks.

We arrived in Nanjing cashless, sweaty and a little jaded.

Not enough money for a meal, we had to bide our time and wait for Spiers' bank to open to tell them he's in China for his card to work - it's been five days!!

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Fortunately I found a cash point and got us a little bit of lunch.

I ordered badly again....I bit into something that I can only describe as a crunchy membrane.

I apologise for my etiquette, but that thing had to come out of my mouth and onto the table as soon as possible.

TS: Somehow you managed to order the 'eyeball stew' and turn our lunch into a Halloween episode of the Simpsons.

Fair play for giving it a go but it was never going to end well. Your reaction when crunching into the big grey ball is one of the funniest things I've ever witnessed - check it out on Twitter folks.

Anyway, digestion tablets in hand, it was time to head to Nanjing Olympic Sports Centre to take on the Toon Army.

The taxi journey wasn't the best after being driven by the Chinese equivalent of Colin McRae.

Equipped with a full on crash cage, there was only one man walking out of that car after a dust-up.

Thankfully we arrived in one piece, stepping out into searing heat and humidity.

It was a struggle to walk 100m, let alone play a 90 minute game of football.

But the stadium that greeted the players was very impressive indeed.

There's just no way I'm doing that

Top notch facilities all the way around apart from the toilets that required super human style core strength to crouch - think I saw that eyeball again!

But it was all worth it for 90 minutes of superb football in the most difficult conditions imaginable.

Newcastle were very poor, but goodness me, Wolves were sublime at times - it was genuinely men against boys.

Jota took his double with his usual aplomb while Morgan Gibbs-White's first for the senior team will give him huge confidence heading into a busy season.

The kids also did a fine job in the second-half.

With all the doom and gloom about lack of signings and potentially being under-cooked going into the season - this opener couldn't have gone much better for Nuno.

TS: Considering the alien conditions, the heat, the humidity and the dry pitch, it was an excellent performance from Wolves and an opportune moment to show that, yes, they've got a pretty decent team despite a lack of signings.

It was great to see a few youngsters get their chance as well. They were absolutely buzzing after the game and Nuno seemed pretty satisfied too.

The Wolves peeps

Pleasure talking to the fans after the game as always - two of the interviewees flew in yesterday and fly back today! Now that's commitment!.

Ready for a beer on the train now, do they serve beverages in first class?

Nathan Judah

By Nathan Judah
@njudah_star

Digital Sports Editor for the Express & Star and Shropshire Star

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