Terry’s Bluebirds tour blog – first up AFC Tavistock away
It’s a warm, sunny day in Tavistock, Cornwall – and the South West Peninsular League hosts are ready for Cardiff City’s visit.
Manager Neil Warnock lives near the town, but he will be arriving with his team.
A Welsh flag and a Cornish flag are flying at the stadium, while ground staff were putting finishing touches to ensure everything is ready.
Warnock put his players through tough training session this morning even though they have the fixture against Tavistock and says: “We’ll be training every day while we are on Cornwall.”
Cardiff City have, as expected, left a few senior players in South Wales.
I’m not certain how many are at the team hotel in Cornwall, but I have been told it’s 19 or 20.
Craig Noone, Stuart O’Keefe, Declan John and Frederic Gounongbe all stayed in Cardiff and will be expected to be moving on early in the season.
Certainly, it appears they do not figure in Warnock’s plans for the season. Anthony Pilkington, who scored a cracking goal at Taff’s Well before limping off, may have made the trip.
Warnock said his problem was a minor strain and he went off as a precaution only.
None, O’Keefe and John were all involved at Taff’s Well on Friday, but Gounongbe was even left out for that game.
Mark Harris and Ibrahim Meite haven’t travelled with the first team, but will be heading to the South West on Thursday when the under-23 squad join Warnock’s group.
Cameron Coxe, Jaimie Waite, Connor Young, Rhys Abbruzzese, Lloyd Humphries, Marco Weymans and Oliver Byrne were also on duty against Taff’s Well, but will also be travelling down with the development party.
Full-back Coxe and midfield terrier Waite were among those to catch the eye with bright performances against the Wellmen.
Cardiff City’s first team in Cornwall.
Callum Paterson and Rhys Healey are both going through rehab after injuries, while Junior Hoilett has been on international duty with Canada at the CONCACAF Gold Cup.
None of the three are in the Cardiff squad, but goalkeeper Lee Camp, who missed Friday’s opening friendly, has travelled.
Cardiff City, probable squad:
Goal: 3 Neil Etheridge, Lee Camp, Brian Murphy.
Defence: 7 Lee Peltier, Matt Connolly, Bruno Manga, Sol Bamba, Sean Morrison, Joe Bennett, Jazz Richards.
Midfield: 6 Lee Tomlin, Loic Damour, Aron Gunnarsson, Joe Ralls, Matty Kennedy, Nathaniel Mendez-Laing.
Forward: 4 Anthony Pilkington, Danny Ward, Idriss Saadi, Kenneth Zohore.
Cardiff also play Bodmin Town on Wednesday and Plymouth Argyle in Devon on Friday.
Andy Legg and Jarrad Harvey are in charge of Cardiff’s under-23 team and they travel to Cornwall on Thursday.
They play at St Austell on Thursday evening and Bideford on Saturday afternoon.
Legg, Harvey and under-18 head coach Craig Bellamy will work closely together in aiming to ensure young players have the quality and knowhow to make genuine progress.