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Edition 4: Garath McCleary's Copa America diary

16 June 2015

Winger pens his thoughts from the Jamaica camp

Garath McCleary has provided his latest insight into life at the Copa America from behind the scenes with the Jamaican squad.

The winger, who is rooming with club-mate Michael Hector, has been penning online updates from his trip in South America via #5 magazine's website and the Royals' Reggae Boy breaks down their opening match defeat to Uruguay in the fourth edition of his blog.

Day 7 (Thursday 11th June)

“It was an early start waking for 7am to complete a blood test administered for the tournament. Something so small that really doesn’t hurt that much, for some reason a few of the boys didn’t want to watch. Now am I including myself in that!”
"It was still dark outside so we should really have been asleep, so after it was straight back up to try and recover a few more hours of kip.”

“New delivery of Nike boots for me and some of the players. My new boots are the Nike superflys. I’m liking the colour match in silver and pink.

“At first I wasn’t a big fan of the sock that’s attached to the boot but they’ve definitely grown on me. From a young age, I’ve heard ‘if you wear boots that colour you’ll get kicked. Haha…

“This was the setting for our penultimate training session before the game. Very good facilities here in Chile with an amazing view in the background. More cameramen and women are at our sessions getting clips/pictures of training."

Day 8

“Normally in international football the day before the game you get to train on the match pitch. You have an arranged time to train before the big game. Today’s training was just to polish a few rough edges and fine tune in preparation for Uruguay.

“Them being in the top 10 FIFA rankings, they will not be taken lightly. They have some world class players but we’re hoping to spring a few surprises.

“Not much else happened on Wednesday as we wanted to get as much rest as possible. The majority of the day was spent in the room listening to music or sleeping.”
Day 9

"It finally arrived - the opening game in Antofagasta. With breakfast 9:30am and lunch at 12:30pm, now I just wanted to get out there and play the game. I think there was some sort of protest outside our hotel but I didn’t know too much about it as it was in Spanish.

“The journey to the ground was pretty straight forward. With a police escort we got there in good time. Seeing all the fans excited outside taking photos of the coach pulling up, with acrobats and jugglers the excitement was beginning to build.

“Well what can I say… Through disappointment and frustration, sometimes finding words to explain is very hard. We worked and fought very hard as a team. We had chances to take something away from the game but it wasn’t to be.

“It’s definitely something to build on, though, and with two more games to go in this group anything is still possible.
"Also I would like to point out how good the fans were. From start to finish they were cheering us and gave us an ovation at the end. If you’re reading this, more of the same this Tuesday please!"

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