The Bathurst 1000 is viewed as the pinnacle V8 Supercar race drawing race fans in their thousands to Mount Panorama for the 1000km race. This was not only my first Bathurst 1000 but also my first V8 race and I set out to cover the event as a whole not just the race itself. I spent a great deal of time on the mountain with the race fans amongst the BBQs, eskys, wood-smoke, fumes, camp-chairs and a bit of alcohol
Arriving at the track early on Saturday morning
Early birds watching on track action early on the Saturday morning
I was given a lift up to the top Mount Panorama via the track and thanksful Jason navigated turn 2 better than many other drivers over the weekend!
Race fans secure a spot early on the Mountain looking over “the esses”
Some old school patches on the jacket of John “Boy” Walton
Not only the V8s crashed
Peter Brock – King of the Mountain Stubby Holders
Camper playing beer pong int he campsite
Darts in the campsite as the sun set
Kids kicking a footy in the last of the afternoon light in the campground
Race fans walk the track at the end of the day
Kids playing soccer on the track in the late afternoon after racing
It was a long walk from the top of the mountain back to the car park. This was about the time I realized my car keys were in the bag my colleague had taken with him!
Leaving the track in the dark after a long day to prepare for a longer day to follow on the Sunday
Early Birds up before the sun lining up to secure a good spot track side for the great race
Grandstand spot secured for this gentlemen at dawn
This race fan was in place track-side as the sun rose over the track
After securing their spot these race fans settled in for a nap before the racing got underway
As the general access spots are on grassy mounds on the side of the track race goers need to dig the back legs of their chairs in to ensure balance and stability for the long race
These guys are awesome
The race start from my position on turn one
With the weather forecats predicting rain and storms for the afternoon it was nice to see friendly fluffy clouds for most of the day
This race looked like he’d seen more than a few Bathurst races
A Redbull detailed esky not desgned for Redbulls!!
A race fan drinks from a can-tower designed to help him monitor his alcohol intact
No idea what this was up to but I guess he just wanted a cool fence indent design on his guts
From a distance this guy just looked disturbing in his morph suit
The smell of beer, BBQ’s and burning fuel
What better way to enjoy the whole race experience than rigging up a TV track-side to watch the race and also actually watch the race
It was a long hot day and this guy fell asleep in the shade. Then he woke up in the sun…
A strong police presence to ensure the shenanigans of yesteryear on the mountain remain in the past!!
You can almost taste it….
Have you had anything to drink today sir?
I walked up and down these stairs enough time to need to pause at their base to take a picture!
A red flag due to the track breaking up added and extra hour to the race meaning the race finished in the last light of the day
Chaz Mostert taking the checkered flag to win the 2014 Bathurst 1000. After starting last on the grid co-driver Paul Morris and Chaz Mostert of the Pepsi Max Crew Ford did the near impossible and won the race. Last to first in 1000
Jamie Whincup walks away from the #1 Red Bull Racing Australia Holden after running out of fuel on the last lap
Driver Chaz Mostert and Co-driver Paul Morris of the #6 Pepsi Max Crew Ford celebrate after winning the Bathurst 1000
Co-driver Paul Morris of the #6 Pepsi Max Crew Ford celebrates after winning the Bathurst 1000
Driver Chaz Mostert and Co-driver Paul Morris of the #6 Pepsi Max Crew Ford celebrate after winning the Bathurst 1000
A very happy Ford fan wearing a hub cap on his head celebrates on track at the end of the race
They forecast rain for the end of the race but thankfully it arrived well after the race was over. I was up early to get back to Luna Park in Sydney for the winners photo call
Bathurst 1000 winners Paul Morris and Chaz Mostert of the Pepsi Max Crew Ford pose with the Peter Brock Trophy at Luna Park
Chaz Mostert of the Pepsi Max Crew Ford drives a dodgem car
Sitting the wheel of a bumper car Chaz Mostert takes some time out after a long week
All images including race coverage can be found following these links:
Fans Enjoy the Bathurst 1000
V8 Supercars – Bathurst 1000
or at www.gettyimages.com/editorial
All images are copyright of Getty Images
It’s never my favorite part of the day shooting fans arriving but it’s a good way to feel the excitement as it builds
I had to shoot Slash as he played!
The foundation bell ringers before the match
Greg Inglis looking focused as he waits with his team mate for the late arriving Bulldogs team to the pitch
The Bulldogs had salt rubbed into the wound as the NRL issued them with a $20000 fine for their late arrival on to the field for kick-off
After fracturing his foot the previous week Bulldogs captain Michael Ennis was ruled out of the grand final. He spent the match nervously watching on from the bench
The Burgess brothers during the national anthem
Sam Burgess copped a head to the cheek bone from James Graham in the first tackle of the match. He ran straight to the trainer and everyone knew he was in trouble…but he played on
It was Graham’s head in the first tackle of the game that left Sam Burgess with a fractured cheek bone. He played on but I don’t think much was made of his heroics in the media….
Issac Luke lapping it up after missing the grand final due to suspension
A happy GI on the lap of honour with some stoked kids
These are just a selection of my pictures of the game but I was part of a great team of 5 with Mark Nolan, Renee McKay, Mark Metcalfe and Matt Blyth who was stuck with the hardest job of the night editing and uploading. (Thanks Matt!)
All the images from the 2014 NRL Grand Final can be found at www.gettyimages.com/editorial or by following these links:
All images are copyright Getty Images
I caught a cab on arrival in Sao Paulo headed for Itu and wasn’t too sure if the cab driver was on speed, in a huge rush, had a death wish or was just pretty keen to display his high speed driving skills – but it was scary. It turned out driving is the only time Brazillians seem to be interested in doing anything at speed other than football!!
The Ibis Hotel in the car park of Itu Plaza shopping centre was to be my home for the majority of the tournament. This was my inspiring view.
I neded to head back into Sao Paulo to collect my accreditation so I woke up early and hopped on the Japan media bus to head back the hour and half drive.
As a street art lover it was both great and terrible rattling past some of the best street art Ive seen on a fast moving bus. Great as I got to see heaps of it, but terrible as it was a very fleeting look
It wasn’t a too painful experience getting my accreditation sorted (even though my passport number they had didn’t match to the passport I had) so with my pass in my hot little hand it was back on the bus to Itu.
After a quick lunch it was back on the bus for Japan’s first Brazil training session at Riberio Stadium in neighbouring Sorocaba. There were a few thousand locals in attendance as well a few hundred police and security!
There was a small protest outside the stadium which was massively outnumbered by the security.
The players seems a little bemused at the large crowd outside the stadium as they arrived n the team bus
The players exited the bus to a hero’s welcome and headed in for the session
The players had a meet and greet with children from the large local Japanese community before a light session of running, a few drills and gentle kick around game for the crowd
As always Keisuke Honda was a popular figure everyone wanted a piece of!
The crowd enjoyed the session and I was glad to have something other than the training session to shoot as my 400mm lens which I needed to cover the training in the middle of the field was still somewhere in transit between Miami and Sao Paulo. It had somehow missed the connecting flight.
Not having a long lens made shooting action at training very difficult so I just cruised round shooting atmosphere shots.
After a stressful couple of days chasing the airline for details of my misplaced bag it showed up at the hotel. I was extremely relived to see it. Even better was that it arrived 30 minutes before I was due to depart for Japan training so I was able to do my job I’d travelled a fair distance to cover!
The Itu training base of the Japan National Team was at the Spa Sport Resort surrounded by high walls and loads of police.
The media centre was a large marquee tent abut 100-200m from the training field. It could have been anywhere in the world and was run as a tight JFA media “unit”. By that I mean it was run like a school and the media were the children. This is the line we had to wait in until they opened the door so we could all file out and walk to the empty training field to wait for the players to arrive. I arrived about 30 minutes before the “door opening” and this as my position in the queue
As there was a hill over looking one corner of the training venue they had to put up privacy screens. It made for terrible back grounds for picture but it never really was an issue as we only once saw the players in that section of the ground. They usually stretched at the opposite end…
The players arrived and so the coverage of Japan players stretching at their base camp had begun!
Japan head coach Alberto Zaccheroni looking less than impressed at the media
The closed we came to seeing the players in action was as they undertook warm-up drills. Usually is was this far away often facing the other direction and was really difficult to get any decent pictures of.
Once the allotted media time was up – usually 15 minutes – the media was filed back out to wait in the tent for the session to finish. Selected players would then be made available for the media to speak to after training. No photography was allowed during this time. I’m not too sure why, but those were the rules I had to play by. Back to the hotel it was then!
Street Art, Building, Meat and too Much Meat
As I wasn’t able to shoot great deal of anything to do with the Japan team I decided to head out and take some pictures of football around Itu.
These young boys were more than happy to keep playing their game in front of the camera.
This is a pretty standard street scene from Itu with kids playing football on the street outside their houses
Game day one was drawing close so I headed to Recife.
It was nice to travel to a new city and see the Brazil I’d pictured in my mind. Itu wasn’t the hub of anything much – other than the Brazilian brewing of the Japan team’s major sponsor – so it was nice to have a change of scenery in Recife
As per FIFA regulations I shot the first 5 minutes of the press conference then waited for training.
The players had their first look at the stadium at a training session ahead of their first world cup match against Ivory Coast the next day
A Japan supporter paints her face in the hotel foyer before heading to the ground
I met up the Getty Images team for this match and before heading to the ground we had lunch then in a break in the weather had a quick walk on the beach. As expected there were a few people playing football!
On arrival pitch-side at Arena Pernambuco the rain was dumping down and it was a weather night ahead
I went out with fellow Getty Images photographer Julian Finney to set up our remote cameras behind the goal then settled in for a wet evening of football. I was pretty excited to be shooting a big game after a few weeks of preparation with little access to the team to take any decent pictures
Shinji Kagawa of Japan challenges Serge Aurier of the Ivory Coast
After having a great deal of expectation placed on him in the lead up to the World Cup Keisuke Honda responded in the best way he could – with a goal after 16 minutes!
He ran back to celebrate with his team and even though he ran away from the corner i was in it made a nice frame of the rat of his extended team celebrating the great start to their campaign.
The game was fairly evenly matched with Japan holding a 1-0 lead into the second half. After 62 minutes Didier Drogba was introduced to the game off the bench…
Drogba had an instant impact lifting his team. The Ivory Coast picked up intensity and within 5 minutes of Drogba taking the field had scored two goals.
Wilfried Bony of the Ivory coast headed the first goal home for Les Elephants to tie things up
Two minutes after the equaliser Gervinho headed past a diving Eiji Kawashima to put Ivory Coast ahead 2-1
Gervinho ran behind the goal in his celebration and ran towards my corner. Sometimes things just don’t work out for you. This was one of those occasions. To say I was disappointed was an understatement. After a few weeks of pre-world trainings etc it was very frustration to not get a decent frame of the celebration sequence!! Oh well like the Japan team, it was back to training for me I guess!
One of the other Japan player’s under the spotlight was Shinji Kagawa. He failed to make much of an impact and more questions were raised about his form. He was dropped ahead of game two against Greece
After a rather disappointing evening the night before I headed back to Itu feeling pretty flat.
The street art around Itu wasn’t as prevalant as that of Sao Paulo and other Brazilian cities but I found a few pieces which were pretty impressive.
It’s awalys a struggle when you only have 15 minutes to cover a training session and they choose the furthest possible corner to warm-up!
No-one would have been able to steal this TV. The police guarding the training base watch Brazil’s second world cup match in the back of the police van
After seeing numerous awesome beach football images by my peers from the beaches at sunset across Brazil, i felt left out. I decided to take matters into my own hands as a joke made a cardboard cutout of a footballer doing an overhead kick. This one one of my better attempts at photo humour.
Another early start was required to fly to Natal in time to cover the Japan training session and press conference at
As I had some time to kill at the airport I thought I’d wait for someone to walk through this light. This mother and daughter obliged
The weather was terrible when I woke up on match day in Natal but by the time I’d had breakfast it had cleared so I headed down to the beach to get a Brazil beach fix.
The roadside near my hotel
Two young men on a scooter ride past artworks for sale on Ponta Negra Beach in Natal
Workmen continue to work on the road next to the car park of Estadio das Dunas the day before the match
Japanese supporters arrive at Estadio das Dunas for the Japan v Greece match
After falling over walking down the stairs carrying all my gear at Japan training a day earlier, these steps with all my equipment at Estadio das Dunas were a real challenge
2014 FIFA World Cup Brazil Group C match between Japan and Greece at Estadio das Dunas on June 19, 2014 in Natal, Brazil.
Japan Fans before the match
Makoto Hasebe of Japan goes for a header against Giorgos Samaras of Greece
Shinji Okazaki of Japan in action
Atsuto Uchida of Japan falls as he competes for the ball with Giorgos Samaras of Greece
Frustration for Yoshito Okubo and Japan….
Frustration for Theofanis Gekas and Konstantinos Manolas, and for Greece….
Frustration for everyone with a 0-0 draw. Japan couldn’t capitalise on the extra man advantage they had for more than half of the match making it a great deal harder for them to finish in the top two of group C to progress to the knock out stages.
I’ve never been more sure I was going to be involved in a high speed car crash than during this late night post match taxi trip to the airport. It was a frightening ride on a dark, wet night on not the greatest of road surfaces.
But I survived the taxi and the overnight flight (2:10am departure post mach) and made it back to Itu in time for training.
This was definitely a low point of the trip for me. A terrible nil all draw followed by a middle of the night red-eye flight to make training only to have the team facing the away from the media, in bad light doing light recovery stretches for 15 minutes!! This day made me want to go home…
This was an amusing session. After taking my position in the queue at around 3pm in readiness for training 3:30pm, the media officer came in and announced training had been cancelled for the day. I didn’t understand much (well anything at all) of what was said but the schoolyard was in upheaval. Japan head coach Alberto Zaccheroni agreed to hold a press conference which led to a made scramble by the JFA media team to try and pull it together at the last minute. I loved it!! Everyone was talking over each other trying to secure prime position and of course it was mayhem. After about 20 minutes it was finally organised and Zach arrived to speak to the media. I think I enjoyed it more than anyone else present because I loved the fact that it was something different, the media guys had to scramble to provide something for the media and I didn’t have to face 15 minutes trying to provide decent coverage of players stretching!
One game a group of players enjoyed as they waited for the warm-up to start was a form of “donkey” game. Everyone had to keep the ball of the ground using football skills and if a player let the ball touch the ground a certain number of times each of his team mate got to flick his ears. Maybe it helped the players cope with the same schedule day in day out in a country backwater of Brazil?
Little things can excite me and this training was one of things! The team had obviously warmed up in the gym near the ground before they came out to tran on June 22nd so they didn’t need to undertake the standard 15 minute team warm-up at the beginning of training. Doesn’t sound that exciting BUT it meant that during the allotted media time they actually ran match practice drills!! This was the first time on the trip – beside the first light session in Brazil – the media had seen them doing ball work. It made for a nice change!!
It was interesting to watch the JFA media officer watch his stop watching closely waiting for the 15 minutes to run out to get the media out before we saw too much!!
Monopods hold photographers positions in the queue to walk out to training
Next day it was back to usual stretching/warming up. As I left training I realised this may be the last time as the team was travelling to Cuiaba the next day for their match against Colombia. Anything other than a win would mean they would be out of the World Cup and heading home.
I wasn’t upset to be leaving the cold air-conditioned tent of the Itu training camp for what might have been the last time!
I’m pretty certain I will never stay in this hotel ever again!
These were the details I had to work with about departure times for the bus to trainings, press conferences and of course flights. I’m extremely grateful to have had Gus Feilding a sports writer, translator for Kyodo News on this trip as he is fluent in Japanese. If it wasn’t for my English speaking friend Gus on this trip, not only would have gone insane (well more insane) but I most likely would have missed a great deal of buses!!
Cuiaba bound for the Japan v Colombia match meant another pre-dawn start to get an early flight.
I did find it rather strange that there were promo girls handing out free beers at the luggage carousel at 10am in the morning. The travelling football fans were loving it!
I love random. This was so random. A Statue of Liberty replica on the roadside heading into Ciuaba. Maybe has some meaning but to me it was just a sign that I needed more sleep
My palace room in Cuiaba was straight out of the 80’s
Japan head coach Alberto Zaccheroni watches the Japan team train. As it turns out this was the last training session he would overlook as coach.
I had a little bit of walk round town before heading of to the stadium for the match with a 5pm kick-off
A Colombian supporter prays in Catedral Metropolitana Basílica do Senhor Bom Jesus on the morning of match day between Japan and Colombia
The Colombian supporter heavily outnumbered the Japan support. It was always going to be hard fr the Japan team to rise above a team playing great football riding the very loud wave of crowd support.
The Japanese team kept fighting and on the stroke of half-time Shinji Okazaki levelled the scores at 1 -1
Colombia opened the scoring and the mountain Japan needed to climb to progress to the knock out stage looked an impossible task.
But in their need to attack and score goals, Japan left the back door open and Columbia capitalised with 3 unanswered second half goals. Here Colombian Goalkeeper Faryd Mondragon celebrates victory after he came on late in the match as a replacement to become the oldest player at a world cup at 43 years and three days old
The 2014 World Cup was over for Japan after their 4-1 loss
The realisation of a broken dream was clear in Yoshito Okubo’s reaction
With that loss it meant I was homeward bound and it was tools down!
Adam Pretty leads the way in demolishing a pizza of unknown make-up. It had lots of cheese and loads of crisps….
I headed back to Itu to pack all my gear after a month on the road.
Within 48 hours of Japan’s failure to progress, I was boarding a flight out of Brazil to Chile a quick stop in New Zealand then homeward bound to Sydney.
It was nice to see my home harbours as I flew into Sydney in the early morning to finish a fairly long month on the road.
Departing Sydney to follow the Japan football team on their journey to the 2014 World Cup in Brazil
Having the extra room of an exit row seat also brings visitors to the window
Having the extra room of an exit row seat also brings visitors to the window
Flying over Sydney in the morning and wandering round a damp Tokyo in the evening
Waiting for the lights at Shibuya Crossing
Even under wet skies I couldn’t resist people watching as the crowds traversed Shibuya crossing
Morning coffee view from Shibuya crossing Starbucks
I accepted the challenge of the Tokyo metro trip to Saitama Stadium. What could possibly go wrong….
The orderly commuters of the Tokyo Metro
Kirin Challenge Cup international friendly match between Japan and Cyprus at Saitama Stadium on May 27
A fan poses with a picture of Japan hero Keisuke Honda outside Saitama Stadium
Japanese football fans write messages of support and encouragement for the Japan football team on gaint Japan flags outside Saitama Stadium
As I didn’t join the queue for photo positions as early as the majority of others (12:01am the morning of game day with a 7:30pm kick-of!) I was a long way back in the queue.
I was number 32 on the second chance draw to get a second photo position.
A full house greeted the players for the international friendly match between Japan and Cyprus
Japanese supporters in the crowd holding replica World Cup trophies
The scrum was extensive to secure a photo position to shoot the Japan anthem then team photo before kick-off.
Konstantinos Makridis of Cyprus and Masato Morishige of Japan compete for the ball
The first match of my Japan journey proved to be a pretty ordinary game. Keisuke Honda showed his frustration at a slow scoreless first half
Finally a goal but goal scorer Atsuto Uchida decided to run in the opposite direction from me and this was the only usable frame from the goal celebration!!
The crowd were happy to send their team off with a win
After a late night at the football I enjoyed a wander around Toyko with a camera in hand.
School girls on the metro with their smart phones
I always enjoy wandering around wherever I am looking for street art
After a day wandering round, a meeting in the Getty Images Tokyo office followed by lunch with colleagues and a few more sites of Tokyo with fellow photographer Chris McGrath it was nice to enjoy a small beer.
Yakitori dinner at Omoide Yokocho (Piss Alley) in the small alleys near Shinjuku station
Yakitori dinner probably would have been the best idea to end the day as I had an early flight to the US the next morning, but…
We ended up finding a couple of reasons to stay out on the town a little longer! The four hours I had between getting back to the hotel and leaving for the airport were not filled with great packing moments. I made my flight and said goodbye to Toyko after a fleeting visit with a heavy head!
I arrived from Japan for my first ever trip to the USA in Dallas before a quick hop over to Tampa then on to Clearwater Beach for the Japan national team pre world cup training camp
Based on the beach in Florida was a real bonus. This is the view looking back at the beach from the Clearwater Beach Pier 60
Holiday makers swim at Clearwater Beach next to Pier 60
Pier 60, Clearwater Beach
Getting down low trying to catch some flash as Keisuke Honda arrives in the conference room of the Hyatt Regency Clearwater Beach Resort and Spa. A dull conference room set up for journalists to speak to the players wasn’t designed for good pictures…
The working media trying to make the most of the small window of opportunity – approximately 45mins – when selected players were made available to the media.
I again found myself trying to get a different angle of Honda as the options for pictures were extremely limited – as was the space which can be seen in the next picture.
Honda surrounded by media in front of the most uninspiring backgrounds Clearwater Beach had to offer. This image was taken approximately 200m from a beach voted as one of Florida’s best!
Eiji Kawashima and a light
The media wait outside the North Greenwood Recreation & Aquatic Complex for the JFA media office staff member to come and unlock the gate. No-one was allowed in the empty training venue until the team arrived. Not too sure why but as those are the rules, they are abided by!
The locked gate of North Greenwood Recreation & Aquatic Complex. Each day for Japan training we were greeted by the locked gate. It was unlocked for the first 15 minutes of training (warm-up) then promptly locked behind the last member of the media to depart.
Stretching on the large green balls. Not really the most dynamic set of training pictures you will get in 15 minutes!
The large number of media following the Japan team get as much as they can in the 15 minutes the session is open for
The players running laps on the first day of training at their Florida camp
A film crew placed a thermometer on the ground pitch side to show the heat the players were training in. 36 degrees celsius is warm for training!
As soon as the clock ticked over to the end of allotted time the media was asked to leave.
At the end of one session they allowed the media in to speak to the players after training. As we waited a few of the media sneaked a peek through the fence!
With a very late 9pm kick-off for Japan’s friendly against Costa Rica at Raymond James Stadium in Tampa, it gave time to head over to the neighbouring St Petersburg for a visit to the Salvador Dali Museum.
The museum had a most impressive collection of Dali works and an equally impressive architecture
Game day and Japan – playing in a colour most people would expect to see a road crew wear rather than an international football team – started slowly.
Shinji Kagawa reacts after a missed shot at goal.
Yuya Osako reacts after a missed shot at goal.
Japan head coach Alberto Zaccheroni looked a little stressed at the end of the first half with his team down 1-0
The Japan team jumped into action and scored 3 unanswered goals in the second half defeating Cotsa Rica 3-1
Yoichiro Kakitani scored a late injury time goal to help the scorecard look a little more dominate than it maybe should have looked.
A pair of eagles nesting on a light tower at the North Greenwood Recreation & Aquatic Complex had the best view in the house
After waiting for an hour and half I was lucky enough to get this quick frame of Yasuhito Endo signing autographs for Japan fans who waited outside the training venue, before being told to stop photographing by the JFA media as it wasn’t a photo opportunity. With frustration matched only by my confusion, I departed shaking my head. The level of control over media access to the team was extremely high. It’s always frustrating when you realise you would be better off queuing with the general public than with the media as they gain better access!
A meal at a local Bar & Grill with other members of the Japanese media, most of whom spoke as much English as I speak Japanese – very very little. As luck had it there was karoake in the resturant when we arrived and taking confidence from a local with great confidence and terrible vocals I gave it a crack. I died on stage but at least I proved laughter is an international language!
Not too sure if he was looking at me because I was one of the few non-Japanese media members following the team or if it was because my hair was still wet from a post press conference swim at the beach!!
Between the morning media session and afternoon training a headed to the beach for a swim. As I sat in sun I looked up and noticed Eiji Kawashima, Atsuto Uchida and Maya Yoshida walking along the beach. I always usually have a camera with me (either Canon 5D mk3 or my Canon Ixus) but as I was just down for a quick swim and didn’t want to leave a camera on the beach, I had to use the trusty iPhone to snap a quick pic. I uploaded the picture to the Getty Images site with my normal coverage and…..
….the iPhone picture was picked up by weekly Japanese tabloid Flash! and run as a double page spread!!!
Another vocal Japanese crowd turned out again at Raymond James Stadium to watch Japan and Zambia in Japan’s last match before the world cup.
Not too sure if Kagawawas praying for form, goals or both but after the first half an hour Japan were down 2 goals. The post goal celebrations from Kenya were world cup final worthy with backflips, cartwheels and general unbridled joy after the first two goals.
The post goal celebrations from Zambia were world cup final worthy with backflips, cartwheels and general unbridled joy after the first two goals. Shame with Zambia not being a world cup team that all the media were at the Japan end and the empty seat showed where there could have been nice pictures!
Although the Zambian defence tried to cut down the threat of Japan’s main man Keisuke Honda, they couldn’t contain him enough to stop him scoring 2 goals.
I’m a big fan of Shinji Okazaki as he goes flat-out all the time. Even in the limited time I’d seen him at the training sessions, he was on the go. It wasn’t therefore a great surprise to see him have a huge collision with Zambian keeper Toaster Nsabata as they competed for the ball in the air.
It took a while for Shinji Okazaki to get back to his get after some treatment from the Japan staff, but no sooner was he off the field getting taped up, he was back on the filed going as hard as usual. He’s got a lot of heart.
Yoshito Okubo scored a very late goal in 91st minute to clinch a 4-3 victory.
The Japan players thanked their supporters at the completion of what was a good was good win for Japan but their defensive lapses didn’t look good ahead of them stepping onto the world stage.
Local photographer Andrew Patron once again proved his worth as a brilliant host and lined us up to go to the baseball after training one Tuesday. Let’s just say $1.00 Tuesday at the Clearwater Threshers home ground was a winner!! What could possibly be wrong with
$1.00 tickets, $1 hot dogs, $1 12oz draft beers, $1 16oz soft drinks, $1 popcorn, $1 peanuts, $1 ice cream sandwiches
I even got to meet the Threshers mascot Phinley the Shark. He seemed to like me!
A family leave the beach in the late afternoon
A child runs under Pier 60 on Clearwater Beach in the late afternoon
After an enjoyable first USA experience in Florida it was time for the business end of the trip to begin. It was departure day – Brazil bound for the 2014 Football World Cup