Juventude Sport Campinense 1 Sassco.co.uk 1.

The team pictured prior to the first game.

As expected, the paranoia kicked in about 6:00pm on the Thursday evening. I must have sent around seven or eight (or more) texts to everyone with subjects ranging from passports, to times, to kits, etc. Most didn't get much sleep. I struggled to get some shut-eye from 7:00pm, but eventually crashed out at around 10:30pm and had a good sleep. Being paranoid, I told Dave Smith, Scotty H and Harper to text me the instant they woke. I also warned everyone I'd be texting them when I was up.

Around 5.30am and the pre-match alcohol has begun to flow with Cresswell, Muers, Greenwell and Dave Smith.

Double whammy for Greenwell. First, being sick several times and second, having his passport photo from his car thief days being shown around.

Dixon, Greenwell, McConville and Muers.

Timing seemed okay. Scotty and Tash were picked up on time and then over to Dave's. In check-in, I was a bit worried. The worst thing to happen would be a suitcase loss. My oversized Adidas wheelie bag had to be checked in at the oversize section. Security was quick and in no time we were at the bar having a few drinks and breakfast.

Only delays were Emu, Greenwell and Cressy. The nonces were standing outside the aiport downing their final cans of Stella. Apparently they were bombing down the A1 due to Muers forgetting his mobile charger. Both Muers and Greenwell caught a glimpse of Cressy's mother and instantly had the hots for her. Mentioning her around twice every five minutes from then on. She had made them turkey sandwiches. Both Muers and Greenwell are now fighting each other for the opportunity to become Cressy's stepdad.

Me and Cresswell celebrating the fact that Emu left his money and cards at home and has become the official tour beggar / skip rat.

Muers let loose with the camera enjoys the scenery.

Timing was getting better. Greenwell was bricking it on the plane and made full use of the sick bag. He also enjoyed several trips to the toilet. He also focused on McConville's eyebrows - who made the faux pas of admitting his lass plucked them.

Eventually we landed and then another priceless moment (all caught on camera) was the removal of the smirk on Emu's face when he realised he'd left his money and credit cards on the mantlepiece. He had to sub the Euros off me and others. And began to come up with schemes in order to raise funds such as male prostitution, tricks for Greenwell and mugging some locals.

The baggage also came in perfectly, and in the sweltering heat (yes, get jealous) we were on our way to the magnificent hotel. A real impressive site and ten-fold better than the shanty town we were in Malta. We turned up in the lobby and saw the welcome sight of a large sign / banner detailing our fixtures. The only hiccup was that mine and the Tash's room along with Marky's and Bianca were ready, but the others weren't until a few hours later. I made sure the Sassco flag was flying outside our room, but eventually we asked to take it down. We all crashed in mine or Greenwell's anyway and within minutes, we were by the pool in a perfect spot next to a few topless birds.

Better hotel than Malta. Even the cockroaches are smaller.

First serious training occurred with water polo (or handball) with a Sassco ball. We discovered that McConville's shooting was pants. Several players nearly drowned. Best moment was Muers, submerged slowly coming to the surface head first. I waited and cannoned the ball off his head to get a bit of height to get the ball to Hembrough who nearly netted (scored or whatever they call it). After that, the fun and frolics continued with both Muers and Greenwell getting more affectionate towards each other. But that was probably Emu trying to get more funding off his pimp.

We met Gary Thomas, the tour operator who gave us the low down and a round of drinks. We also noticed a decent article in the local paper about us. After this we had lunch in a local restaurant, but Cressy and Dave Smith went to McDonalds.

Quite a few crashed out at the hotel after this, before the big game.

Hembrough, Paul, Gourlay and Harper.

We walked it there. The stroll was around ten minutes up and down the hill and towards the original venue we were due to be in. However, we knew in advance that it was the excellent training 3G turf we were on. The team talk was good and the pre-match training was great. Only cock-up was Hembrough and Cresswell not having blue socks, which meant me and the Tash had to remove ours and give to them. This meant a swap over if any subs. Image is everything.

The match kicked off and our opponents, like us, were all shapes and sizes. We were performing better. Scott Hembrough broke the deadlock from a Greenwell through ball and looped the ball over their 'keeper. Later on, Greenwell said to him, "Was that a Poborski style goal?" response: "No, Scott Hembrough, you daft twat."

Priorities. The flag was erected immediately on arrival.

Sangha and Hembrough suffer in the humid evening on the bench. Hembrough, like in Malta, scored the first Sassco goal and wins a £13 bonus. Plus, Gourlay continues the second half.

George Dawes, what are the scores?

Muers, who was walloping around like a sap, then had a great chance to double the lead, only to see the ball strike the 'keepers legs. It was then that we suffered in the heat. Dave Smith was called on for some great saves and his defence in front of him (Tim and Paul Mc) were very strong. Dave Smith looked for the short option to Dave G at left back all the time and we built from the back.

Second half saw tiredness kick in. They eventually equalised from a quick free kick and came into it strongly. Rolling subs came on. I came on for Dixon just after a massive "take them f**king socks off!" slanging match with him, and nearly had a perfect chance to score. I chested it down in the box and was about to let loose a left foot screamer until Muers came steaming in and shouted "bury it" which resulted in me completely missing the ball. Harper later said that had I scored he would have walked off and gone home.

Harper, Mulvaney, Sangha and Dixon (suffering) relax in the stadium restaurant afterwards.

More chances. Cresswell clean on shot at the 'keeper, then right at the death, Marky's cross shaved the post and Emu decided to nod it wide. So close. Torrents of abuse were heaped on Emu afterwards when we had a chargrilled chicken buffet at the stadium. I received several texts in response to the result and Emu's miss. Most replies were to drop him.We've come to the conclusion that he whispers "Emu up front, Emu up front, Emu up front..." in Greenwell's ear when they're asleep together to subconsciously force him to play him in attack.

By midnight we stumbled back to the hotel. Si took afront at some public display of affection when Marky and Biance were hand-in-hand down the street, but I said if it's acceptable for Muers and Greenwell, it's good enough for anyone.

Some idiot, probably Cressy, rang my apartment door bell early in the morning and I discovered about eight missed calls from him on my phone. It was on 'silent' any way. Nob head must have locked himself out of his room.

Portugal Tour | Day 3.

Portugal Tour 2009 - 18th October 2009

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DF FC 6 Sassco.co.uk 4. Day 3, the final day of the tour. I was up at 7:00am and by 8:00am was making my way to McDonalds for breakfast. Nothing was...Read More

Portugal Tour | Day 2.

Portugal Tour 2009 - 18th October 2009

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FC Ferreiras 0 Sassco.co.uk 2. A more relaxed morning. The long day the night before took it out of us. Si and Hembrough were having breakfast at a place called Betty...Read More

Portugal Tour | Day 1.

Portugal Tour 2009 - 17th October 2009

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Juventude Sport Campinense 1 Sassco.co.uk 1. As expected, the paranoia kicked in about 6:00pm on the Thursday evening. I must have sent around seven or eight (or more) texts to everyone...Read More

Portugal weather.

Portugal Tour 2009 - 15th October 2009

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Friday Saturday Sunday Monday Sunny Max: 26°C 79°F Sunrise: 07:40 Sunny Max: 26°CSunrise: 07:41 Sunny Max: 25°CSunrise: 07:42 Sunny Max: 26°CSunrise: 07:43 Wind, humidity, pressure and visibility Wind: ESE 11mphHum: 43% Press: 1017mB Vis: Good Wind: E 17mphHum: 43% Press:...Read More

Venue change for Ferreira's g…

Portugal Tour 2009 - 12th October 2009

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As mentioned earlier, for the second game (on Saturday), we will now be on 3G turf now, as FC Ferreira's first team will be playing on the main pitch. We'll...Read More

Sunday afternoon bar.

Portugal Tour 2009 - 12th October 2009

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We play our host, Gary Thomas' team on Sunday just before lunchtime. Afterwards, we'll be at the Bar Solar Da Palanicie near the football pitch at Alfamar where we can...Read More

In the newspaper in Portugal.

Portugal Tour 2009 - 12th October 2009

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More publicity in Portugal. Algarve Resident, the local newspaper (online and in print) for the area, will be featuring Sassco's tour. Thanks to Inês Lopes at the newspaper and also Gary Thomas...Read More

On the radio in Portugal.

Portugal Tour 2009 - 12th October 2009

Pleased to announce that the local radio station, KISS FM Algarve will be mentioning our tour and also the match details up to and on game days. When we were in...Read More

Hospitality in Portugal on Fr…

Portugal Tour 2009 - 10th October 2009

After our late game on Friday (the day we land in Portugal), we've been invited into the restaurant/bar in the Imortal Stadium, as they have put on chicken and chips for after the...Read More

Portugal Tour flag.

Portugal Tour 2009 - 29th September 2009

Flag Samplensp 309

When in Malta, we didn't have any flag or banner to fly from the hotel room or to drape Muers in. For Portugal, we've obtained a two metre wide banner with...Read More

27 days until Portugal.

Portugal Tour 2009 - 18th September 2009

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With only 27 days remaining until the tour, a few final arrangements have been sorted. The times for the games have been set. The opening game will take place at 8:30pm...Read More

Portugal Tour 2009 venues.

Portugal Tour 2009 - 6th August 2009

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Two new pictures of the Municipal 3G pitch, courtesy of tour operator, Gary Thomas. This is the venue for our Friday afternoon game against Juventude Sport Campinense/Loulé. Looks quite impressive...Read More

About the organisers

Portugal Tour 2009 - 13th July 2009

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The driving force behind the tour has been myself (Davinder Sangha) as well as all the players who came on the Malta Tour 2009. I expected Malta to be a...Read More

Portugal Tour pennants

Portugal Tour 2009 - 6th July 2009

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Remember the pre-match handshakes when we played our three games in Malta? We received pennants and emblems from the opponents, while all Dave Gourlay could offer was a handshake and a...Read More


Portugal Tour 2009 - 14th June 2009

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16th October (Friday) Juventude Sport Campinense/Loulé 8:30pm Municipal 3G pitch 17th October (Saturday) FC Ferreiras 5:00pm Estadio Da Nora 18th October (Sunday) Destination Football FC 11:00am Hotel Alfamar pitch  

Full tour costs now published

Portugal Tour 2009 - 14th June 2009

Portugal 2009.portugal Index Logonsp 309

The costings for the tour are in. The total to pay overall is £258 per person based on the 13 who are travelling. Obviously, you take off the deposit paid...Read More

Opponents and venue changed.

Portugal Tour 2009 - 11th June 2009

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Slight change on the schedule. Friday we play v Juventude on an artificial pitch next to the actual Municipal Stadium, but not in the stadium itself.  Saturday we play v FC Ferreiras...Read More

The venues

Portugal Tour 2009 - 3rd June 2009

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On Friday 16th October, our game will take place at the Municipal 3G venue against Juventude Sport Campinense. The pitch is a third generation artificial turf which is FIFA approved...Read More

Portugal Tour shirt.

Portugal Tour 2009 - 16th May 2009

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The new Portugal Tour 2009 shirt is as shown in the image. The brand is Adidas (obviously) and the sizes are based on the requests made by the individual player...Read More

Flights and hotel

Portugal Tour 2009 - 8th May 2009

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FlightsThe flights are by easyJet and take off from Newcastle. Friday 16 OctoberCheck in opens Fri 16 Oct 04:20
 Closes Fri 16 Oct 05:40 We need to ensure that we...Read More

Squad details

Portugal Tour 2009 - 8th May 2009

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01 Dave SmithReturns as goalkeeper for the tour. Currently playing for Sassco on Saturday when the manager gets one of his sadistic moments and forces Simpson to play outfield. An...Read More

Football venues

Portugal Tour 2009 - 26th March 2009

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Football venues provisionally confirmed in Portugal     Municipal Estadio de Albufeira.It's likely that we'll be playing on this pitch on Friday evening. Municipal Estadio de Albufeira.We'll be on the same pitch on Sunday.     Hotel...Read More

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