Dubai, NAB Cup, 2008
Adelaide’s 2008 campaign officially off at an unlikely venue – on polo fields in the United Arab Emirates.
Travelling 11,000km to play the opening match of the NAB Cup series against Collingwood in early February was an enormous challenge for all involved but the experience of being forced to handle many hours of travel, a busy foreign city and sharing accommodation for nine days while preparing for a game was valuable.
The itinerary was packed with the important football requirements surrounded by appearances, official functions and some sightseeing.
A stopover in Kuala Lumpur was organised to allow the players to have a training session and sleep before resuming the trip to Dubai. A light beach run just a few hours after arriving at 3.30am also helped the group adjust to the change in time zones.
The first day in Dubai was completed by a thrilling four-wheel drive safari through desert sandhills followed by a BBQ at a desert camp but it was back to business the next day for the two-hour main training session on a soccer pitch.
The day before the game the group travelled to the match venue, the Ghantoot Polo Club, for a light football session.
There were many Crows fans among the festive crowd of 6000 for the February 9 clash. The game itself proved a useful hit out for Adelaide, which kicked away in the second term to win by 81 points.
Some young Crows including Kurt Tippett, Bernie Vince, David Mackay and James Sellar, who kicked three goals, showed that were ready to push for regular AFL selection.
Adelaide 3.2 2.9.4 2.12.7 4.15.10 (136)
Collingwood 3.3 4.5 7.10 7.13 (55)