Young Swans prepare for MPC opener

1st April

With the Under-19s not playing their first game of the tournament until Thursday, today represented a good chance to see one of Cape Town's 'Big Six'.
Table Mountain is a prominent landmark overlooking the bay and in November 2011 it was named one of the Seven Wonders of Nature.
It is a significant tourist attraction, with many visitors using the cableway or hiking to reach the summit, while the mountain forms part of the Table Mountain National Park.
With stunning views across the bay and the city, it truly was a memorable experience for the travelling party - even if a couple of the players weren't too keen on heights!
After returning to the Western Cape, next on the agenda was a short trip across town to the nearby Erica Park, where the Metropolitan Premier Cup will be taking place.
Today also saw the opening games of this year's tournament taking place, so it was an ideal chance to see the calibre of teams involved in our group as the University of Stellenbosch faced Harmony Academy.
And in what was a hard-fought encounter in windy conditions, Harmony were the first team off the mark in Group C with a 2-1 victory.
There appeared to be a lot of attention from the locals towards Swansea City, as everyone made us feel welcome and privileged to be involved in this year's competition.

Following a taste of the action, it was back to Western Cape for some light training as the sun began to set.
We were joined by fellow coaches Andrew Sparkes, Roy Thomas, Joel Moody and Nia Davies, with the quartet having arrived in Cape Town a week previously to put on coaching sessions in the local area.
Following the training session and dinner, it was off to a sports hall within the complex to experience a Life Skills session that was put on by the organisers.
This was a chance for the players of all teams to watch a short production on the many ways in which your hopes and dreams can be reduced by making the wrong decisions and focussing on the different ways you can be successful. 
The Under-19s kick off their Metropolitan Cup campaign tomorrow (Thursday) as they take on local side Battswood at 2.45pm (1.45pm GMT). 
Battswood are one of 14 teams who qualified and have reached the final on three occasions (1992, 1993 and 1994).

To read the first extract from our South Africa tour diary click HERE.