Will Hayhurst has already had an eventful couple of days away with the Republic of Ireland U19s squad in Serbia, including a sleepless flight and lapses in 21st century technology.
The 19-year-old winger is away with the team for their European Championship Elite round Group Two matches, aiming to help better his country’s semi-final showing in 2011.
And the PNE academy graduate has taken the time to log his experiences so far in the first edition of: The Will Hayhurst Diaries.
Tuesday 4th June:
5.00am – I attempt to get up to catch to the team bus, but it’s a very early start!
6.00am - We arrive at Dublin airport and I’m checking every five minutes to make sure my passport is still in my pocket.
We then rushed through the airport, practically sleep walking to the gate!
7.45am – I buy a pack of sweets to get me through the flight, before we finally board our plane to travel to Austria.
Even though I tried to sleep during the flight, I was woken up around ten times by two little children booting the back of my chair - on a positive note I tucked into my sweets each time.
11.30am – We arrive in the Austrian airport and prepare to board our next flight.
Again, we had to rush through customs to get on our next flight, this time to Serbia. It's 11.30 and it feels like the longest day of my life!
1.00pm-7.00pm - After landing in Serbia we finally make our way to the hotel.
It's an interesting place but I don't think it will be a holiday destination for me in the future.
The hotel was nice but, after getting to our rooms, everyone realises that the wifi doesn't work.
We all end up scrapping for it in the hall way - not a good idea - with 15+ iPhones and iPads on the same connection – nightmare!
Wednesday 5th June:
10.00am - Up for breakfast and ready to pack… AGAIN!
We travel to the team training centre, I look outside and think - ‘why has England taken all the heat?’
1.00pm - We arrive at the hotel and have a look round the facilities which are very impressive.
Everything is excellent, especially being able to top up on my table tennis skills before I go back to Preston to be champ again – just ask Lee Holmes!
5.30pm – Training begins for the match on Thursday.
After a sharp session, I’m excited for tomorrow’s game, and to get back to pre-season for Preston ready for a big campaign, with some great support!
7.00pm - We have our meal, with a tempting cheesecake on the side. A few lads went for it but I manage to resist - even though it’s killing me!
We’re preparing for the game, plus, I don't want to come back in pre-season as big as Lairdy - only joking Lairdy… You know I am!
9.00pm - Team meeting and snacks, everyone seems to eat a lot when they go away, but that's a positive thing, I think!