POOLS-SIDE: Richard Mennear’s Spanish diary: Day 2, a room with a view

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HOW about this for a view?

Not bad eh? This is the stunning view that I’m enjoying while I sit and type – increasingly slowly – this sorry excuse for a column.

NICE VIEW: La Cala Resort

NICE VIEW: La Cala Resort

Sunshine, stunning golf courses and exclusive mountain retreats for as far as the eye can see.

I have worked in some suspect places during my time as a journalist. But the same cannot be said for my place of work in southern Spain, La Cala Resort, where the Pools camp are staying this week.

It is a stunning resort in a stunning location and while the players are here for hard graft, they can at least do so, in the pleasant surroundings.

This is actually my first ever visit to Spain and it hasn’t disappointed. The last time I reported on foreign shores for the Mail was way back in 2010, when I sailed back across the North Sea from Norway on a Tall Ship as part of our coverage of the event that year.

The exhausting shift pattern was four hours on and four hours off and when you were on, you were on. It was a race after all.

But this is a whole new ball game. Quite literally.

Upon my arrival at La Cala Resort the squad were being put through their second of three sessions that day. From my mountain top viewpoint it looked like the yellow bibs were just about leading the blue shirts in an intense game of 11-a-side.

After that the squad broke for lunch and I was lucky enough to join them for salad (yes, really), steak and roast potatoes for me if you must know.

I managed to avoid ‘dribbling’ down my face but did almost choke on a piece of steak, to the shock of Mark Simpson, the club’s media manager.

All was well in the end though. The players were then given three hours off, when they retreated to their rooms for a break before their third and final session of the day.

The light at the end of the tunnel for them though was watching Germany trounce Brazil in the World Cup semi-final last night.

Again, I was invited to watch it with the squad.

Bloody hell, at this rate I’ll be pulling on one of those yellow bibs in the morning. Mind you, it won’t fit if I keep tucking into the Spanish cuisine with such enthusiasm.