The boys had a kick around at a park near the hotel after breakfast on Friday morning, while the trusty supporters (aka parents!) set off on another food shopping mission for the teams lunch. The supermarket is a half hour walk from the hotel and has tiny trolleys (so they had four on the go!) but a good selection of food to fill them with. Once back at the hotel a makeshift buffet style lunch was set up in one of the hotel rooms for the boys to funnel through in groups before heading to training. As always with these kind of trips (thinking back to the NZ Men's team in Thailand earlier this year using a heat gun in an attempt to dry their playing gear...) there is plenty of kiwi ingenuity to be seen - check out the washing line!
While the team were training, the support crew were off again, this time to find the best way to get themselves to the Kanayama Sports Center (tournament venue). First a bus trip to the train/bus station and then confusion led to the decision that it was easier to just squash five people into a taxi - it didn't take too long to get there in the end! They had a look around the venue and tested the slide-ability of the wooden floor, for the goalies, before heading back to the hotel. Of course this was another adventure for them.. walking to the bus stop, waiting for a bus - giving up and walking some more. Getting a bus to the Kitaguchi Hongu Fuji Sengen shrine for a look around, then afterwards failing to find a bus nearby so walking a little more, stumbling upon a 100 yen store (like a $2 shop) and doing a bit of shopping, then back to looking for a bus again. Finally they caught a bus which happened to have a lovely Japanese driver who spoke English (jackpot) that gave them some good advice on places to go and where to get good food. Luckily this isn't The Amazing Race! Based on their research trip the supporters will be catching taxis to the venue to ensure they get there in time for the games, while thankfully the boys will be travelling on the team bus! The team and supporters reunited for dinner at the hotel, in the evening, and everyone was tired from a successful day of training and venue/bus hunting.
Iran has now joined NZ and Australia at the hotel, so there were three floorball teams sizing each other up during breakfast this morning. The team woke to a stunning view of Mt Fuji and headed up the Kachi Kachi Ropeway, for more great views of the mountain and also over Lake Kawaguchi. It was a hot day, so ice blocks all round at the top before heading back down for lunch by the lake.
This afternoon the team is off for a training session at the Kanayama Sports Center. They're keen to get a feel for the playing surface and checking out the venue. The boys are all getting on well and are in good spirits looking forward to the games ahead. One sleep till game day!
Check out the NZ Men’s U19 team page for more info and links to their games.
You can also follow Floorball NZ on facebook, for updates on the go!