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Austrian Tour Diary: Day One

15 July 2014

Day one of the tour diary as the Clarets spend a week in Austria.

Day one of the training camp in Austria and you have the say the boys have done good!

The hotel and training camp in Austria, around 90 minutes from Vienna and close to Graz, boast all the five-star facilities you would expect for a Premier League team.

The squad were even treated to a welcoming committee on their arrival, made up of kit man Lee Martin, sports scientist Tom Short and two members of smiling hotel staff in traditional Austrian costume – one merrily playing accordion!

And a word here for Lee and Tom, who shared a mammoth two-day journey over land and sea to ensure all the vast amount of equipment needed made it safely to camp.

En-route, they passed through Germany as a nation was gearing up for a World Cup final. Ever the professionals though, the boys ploughed on through and caught the action over the border in Austria, rather than get caught in a nation ready to party!

A good 3-wood from the club’s sumptuous base, which includes an 18-hole golf course, stands an imposing hotel on a hillside.

It’s from this elevated view that Arsenal have decamped for their own pre-season training regime in recent years.

The Gunners have become firm favourites in the region and within the next fortnight will use the same training pitches that Sean Dyche’s squad are using.

The small band of local autograph hunters, who greeted the players on their first visit to the Thermenstadion Bad Waltersdorf, are already looking forward to another visit from Arsene Wenger and his players.

And one thing is sure, if it’s good enough for Arsene Wenger, it’s good enough for their newest Premier League rivals!

Well into the afternoon, the club confirmed the signing of Middlesbrough striker Lukas Jutkiewicz, who immediately set-off en-route to meet his new team mates in Austria.

And here in camp, we await the arrival of the new boy to bring you his first interview, later tonight.

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