Flooding halts training in UAE

Words: Jacob Spoonley

Wednesday 9 December 2009

Picture: Phototek NZ

Constant rain has postponed this mornings training until 4pm this afternoon. The excellent training facility at Mohammed Bin Zayed Stadium was this morning under water, it appears that the drainage, or lack of drainage is the problem. Walking around the streets in the rain yesterday drew many comments from Auckland City Chairman Ivan Vuksich, who takes a keen interest in the construction going on around Abu Dhabi, on the lack of ‘fall’ on the pavements and other surfaces around the city, it appears that water is not a common problem around these parts and even a very expensive training ground has little or no drainage..
Yesterday the team had a recovery day, visiting the Shaikh Zayed Bin Sultan Al Nayhan Mosque and the Emirates Palace. The mosque was a place of breath taking grandeur. With 82 domes decorated in 26 carrot gold and white gold, 1 central chandelier weighing over nine tonnes and two smaller ones weighing over five tonnes, all adorned with precious stones, gold and silver. The estimated cost of the mosque so far was over $US900 million. The central courtyard was made of marble from Greece and Italy, and over 150m2. New Zealand played its part in the construction supplying the mother of pearl which is in every pillar, of which there are plenty. Covering the floor of the main prey room was the world’s biggest carpet which had to be assembled on site.
Next stop was the luxurious Emirates Palace. The valet car park was full of Mercedes, Porsches and Hummers as the team jumped off the bus. Having stayed at the hotel Ramon noted that the walk to breakfast in the morning from his room was eight minutes. Everything at the Emirates was on the scale of huge. The TV in the café was the same size as a studio apartment.
Having played two games in a short amount of time the team is feeling jaded. Sore legs and tired bodies are aplenty. However there is resolution to match the fatigue, especially with the knowledge gained about the upcoming opposition. The team wishes to go out on a high and leave the tournament the way they started, with that precious winning feeling.

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