Queenslander Sam Michael continues his dairy on tour with the AIS/AFL Academy. This time he reports from London on his football trip of a lifetime.

Sam Michael: On Tour with the AIS Squad
Diary Entry 2 – London– Sunday 24 April

Well, what a massive few days.

I write this from London airport, waiting for our flight to Turkey which will be followed by a five hour bus trip to Gallipoli.

 I can’t believe we are already on the homeward stretch and our time in Italy and London has come to an end.

We arrived in Italy on Sunday, after a 30 hour flight. The first thing we did was to hear from cyclist Michael Rogers who gave us advice and an insight into his experiences as an elite international athlete. As a three-time World Champion, it was interesting to hear how he goes about things and I will definitely take a lot away from what he had to say.

On Monday we headed to the AC Milan training base, which is definitely the highlight of the trip so far. It was amazing to get inside a professional soccer club and see how they do things, especially when most fans will never be lucky enough to get the chance. They are pretty strict on who they let in so it was awesome to be given the opportunity.

Next we flew to London to play the European Legion team. We had dinner with them the night before and it was pretty cool to hear about their passion for footy when for them, the game against us was their first ever 18-a-side match. They usually only have enough players for 12-a-side.

We also got to explain to them what footy was like in Australia. 

I was happy I got to play a full game, after being sick in Melbourne, and although we beat them pretty convincingly, 183 – 12, they were just happy to get the chance to play a proper game.

All in all, the fact that we can fly to London and play a game of Aussie Rules against a European Legion team is a pretty amazing thing, and something I never thought I would be a part of.

Now we’re off to Istanbul and then Gallipoli for the ANZAC Day dawn service which I believe will be a massive eye opener for all of us. 

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