After seven training sessions at the International School in Bangkok, it was a change of scenery for the players on Tuesday evening and a very different atmosphere, plus a chance to see the stadium where they will play against the Singha All-Stars.
Thousands of fans attended the free, open session in the Rajamangala National Stadium, the same venue that hosted our match in the Thai capital two years ago.
The likes of John Terry already had a good idea what the noisy welcome would be like as the players climbed the steps from the basement dressing room, onto the running track surrounding the pitch. For others such as Andre Schurrle, on his maiden Chelsea tour of Asia, the experience is a new and thrilling one.
Signs were held up by some fans asking for a particular player’s boots, although small footballs and mini Stamford the Lions were the common giveaways on this occasion – and tomorrow prior to kick-off the players will carry the red footballs of our global charity partner Right To Play into the stadium and kick them to the crowd.
For the second night running, rain that was around mostly held off for the duration of training and out on the pitch, both the football and handball versions of Piggy in the Middle, or Monkey Catch Ball as it is known in these parts, were implemented to sharpen reactions and fitness, before defenders and attackers were given the chance to compete against each other to plenty of cheers for eye-catching moments of play.
There was an extra player for goalkeeping coach Christophe Lollichon to put through his paces with Mark Schwarzer having arrived to join up with the squad.
The session complete, it was time to return to the dressing room but Jose Mourinho and his men will be back in 24 hours to take the pre-season preparations onto a new level.