May 17, 2013, 11:32 AM EDT
We are just two days away from leaving on a once in a lifetime trip to Europe – all 22 of us. Included in the 22 are 12 players, four support staff, three coaches, two Notre Dame students and one sport administrator (sentence works best when said to beat of The Twelve Days of Christmas).
The first leg of the journey takes us from Chicago’s O’Hare Airport to London’s Heathrow Airport. We will depart Chicago at 9:25 p.m. (CT) and land in London at 11:25 a.m. local time. After a 4:25 layover at Heathrow, we are off to Prague at 3:50 p.m., landing at 6:50 p.m. local time. We will do some evening sightseeing and hopefully grab our first European meal before settling into our first hotel of the trip.
In all, the team will find itself in Prague, Czech Republic; Vienna, Austria; Maribor, Slovenia; Venice, Italy; Lake Como, Italy; and Milan, Italy. For those playing along at home, that’s four European countries in less than two weeks. Not too shabby if you ask me.
While the trip will offer a lot of vacation and sightseeing time, there will also be some business to attend to. The Irish will play six exhibition matches against three teams while overseas. The first two matches will take place in Prague and find the Irish matched up against Olymp Praha, which is considered by many to be the best club team in the Czech Republic. Olymp Praha is composed of players that are older than the Irish … and that is where my scouting ends. Moving onto the second match up …
The Slovenian National Team will meet ND in Maribor for a pair of matches on Friday and Saturday of the trip. My in-depth scouting of this team found that they are ranked 44th in the world just below Panama and just above Venezuela. Impressive.
The final two matches will be against the Italian Federation Team on Tuesday and Wednesday. That’s all I have on them.
In order to be allowed on this trip I had to prove my worth to the cause. So here will be the ways you can follow the Irish on their European Vacation (not like the movie) – Facebook, Twitter and UND.com. Pictures and tweets will be sent out regularly, with blog posts and pictures from players posted daily (hopefully) here on Notre Dame’s blog “UNDerground.” At the conclusion of the trip, Fighting Irish Digital Media will help me put together what will surely be a stunning video package from the two flip-cams that will accompany me throughout the 11 days.
I will be using a Blackberry to send out most tweets. The problem with that is that I don’t know the first thing about a Blackberry. So just assume that below every tweet is a line that says, “Please excuse any typos, I’m using my Blackberry,” and we should be good to go.
Time to get to packing …
Until we land in Prague … Ahoj (pronounced AH’hoy, which means hello and goodbye in Czech – for more Czech phrases check out this website),
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