Today's blog was (beautifully) written by aspiring journalist and freshman forward Christian Lawal.
It was a bright and early start to our fifth day in Spain. At 9 a.m. prompt, the team and coaching staff climbed aboard the team bus and made our way toward Barcelona to enjoy our second experience of the Catalan city.
Upon our arrival, there could only be one attraction that caught our eyes - La Sagrada Familia. We were introduced to Barca native Felipe, who shared with us a wealth of knowledge regarding the iconic and supremely artistic church, which is yet to be completed despite construction beginning in 1882!
Around midday we headed toward our destination for lunch, passing the coast along the way, allowing us to have a brief glimpse of the Barcelona beach. At 12:30 or so we arrived at our restaurant for lunch; it had an edge and authentic Spanish vibe, not to mention some great food enjoyed by all.
Lunch eaten, we jumped on the bus and headed toward our third and final game of the trip against Gimnastic de Tarragona. It was a hut sunny day in Tarragona and, as anticipated by all, it was a tough game.
We went close only seconds into the match with Garrett Heine shooting fractionally wide. Smelling blood, we took the lead just a few minutes later, with yours truly heading the ball into the net accurately from close range. However, the lead was then cut short just before halftime. We showed excellent spirit and work rate throughout the game, although a combination of tired legs and opposition class led to us conceding two late goals, ending the game at 3-1.
Despite the loss, spirits among the group remained high, as the performance we displayed certainly merited more.
Excluding Eddie Painter - who unfortunately took a ball to the face during the game - we left Tarragona in one piece. With our fifth day concluded, we headed back to Santa Susana to finally put our feet up and relax after a tough few days.
With all of our games behind us, tomorrow we will get to experience Espanyol first team training and back to Camp Nou for a stadium tour!