Day 3: Sheffield Steelers' skipper Jonathan Phillips diary. GAME DAY

Preparation
Preparation
0
Have your say

It’s 9am but the body still thinks it’s 6am so sat here on the bus heading to the rink for a pre game skate feels strange.

The time difference is still a little awkward, but won't be an issue when we start our Continental Cup final series this evening.

We play Nomad Astana of Kazakhstan.

Meanwhile, it’s good to have new team-mate Eric Neiley join us.

He arrived last night. Because he signed late there wasn’t enough time to get his visa so whilst the rest of us are here for six days Eric can only stay here a maximum of five(without a visa.)

Anyway, he is here now and the team complete. Only Big John and Liam are at home injured and I’ll.

Eric Neiley - awaiting his third game for the club

Eric Neiley - awaiting his third game for the club

We skate this morning in the big rink where we will play tonight. We don’t know exactly how many fans will be here.

The host team play before us. Maybe a few of their supporters will stick around for our game.

Admission is FREE for all the games here to encourage fans to turn out.

I think our own owner Tony Smith would start to shake if heard about that!

We’ve just pulled up outside the arena. The bus pulls right in. We get off and we are inside.

The Italian team's bus bus is already here. They skate this morning and play at 3 local time. We face Off at 7 (4 in the UK).

Time to go and get ready.

10.45 (7.45).

Just off the ice and sat in he room.

We skated on the big pad this morning. The one we play on tonight. I think the ice was better yesterday on the training rink. They painted it over night maybe that’s why it feels a little crumbly - is that even a word? I don’t know but that’s how it feels.

Now it’s back to game day routine. Just like we would if we were home. We will get fed and have a nap and then come back here tonight.

We have our routines whether at home or the road or away in these competitions.

Big day today - feeling good. I’m looking forward to it as are the others.

12.10

Back at the hotel, boys are being fed at 12.30 so most of us are sitting in the hotel lobby – those that go to their rooms don’t get the first helping, in fact I think Jammer (Andreas Jamtin) is already in the dining room sat with his knife and fork in hand.

Then a little nap and rest up before the big game tonight.

Thommo and Jerry are going back to the arena early, they want to watch the first game. We will meet them there.

Andy Akers lives at the rink in these tournaments. He has stayed back there, washing and drying the kit, making a few repairs – he doesn’t stop working for us.

Meal time, later, Jonno