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BBC Radio Manchester Features
Football in the Faroes: Ian Cheeseman
Cheeseman in the Faroes
Ian Cheeseman always said he'd go to 'the ends of the Earth' to follow his beloved City. Well, guess what? The Blues travelled to the remote Faroe Islands for their opening UEFA Cup qualifier - and who's the only reporter who went from Manchester?
Day 3: City, puffins and the 'Trawler 12'
Have I mentioned that it never goes dark here? I've been writing these blogs late into the evening and even as I sit here now at 11pm it's light - so there'll be no need to worry that the Stadium City play EB Streymur in has no floodlights.
'Professional': talking to Mark Hughes
The team arrived for training and a press conference, fresh from their direct flight from Manchester, at about 5.30. Mark Hughes spoke about his knowledge of the Faroes from his previous visit with Wales: "It's one of those games where they've got nothing to lose and everything to gain. We don't want to back page news, we need to be fully professional, as I expect us to be."
I also spoke exclusively to Micah Richards, who spoke about Hughes, "He's a bit more disciplined and has been good in the short time we've had him." Micah also reiterated his committment to City, despite summer rumours he'd be off: "I wouldn't have signed a five and a half year deal, which shows there's only one place I want to be and that's at City." Good news indeed.
My day had started with an appearance into BBC Radio Manchester, from my room in the Skansen Hostel - the magic of technology. I then took the bus to Vestmanna to catch a sightseeing boat to the bird cliffs, to see the much discussed puffins in action. I have to admit, they look too nice to eat.
Puffin [photo: Terry Cavner]
Once back in Torshavn, I met up with Jonathan Warner, a City fan who lives on the southern island of Sandoy. As well as explaining what it felt like to be a Blue in such an unlikely footballing outpost, he gave me his thoughts on my dreamed for "puffin butty":
"They are such friendly birds, they look great on the postcards, but actually, I have to say, they're even better in the stomach. I've been puffin catching with my brother-in-law - my wife is Faroese. We had to climb down the cliffs holding onto a single role, and you have to have a good head for heights."
Jonathan and I then went to watch City train before I received a phone call from my friend Magne Arge, the President of Atlantic Airways, who told me that the "Trawler 12", who set out on tuesday to eventually arrive here in a fishing boat from Lerwick, had been stranded due to band weather.
Rescued: the 'Trawler 12' arrive
There was good news though, Magne had helped organise a "rescue flight" to bring tem to the Faroes from the Shetlands. I hot-footed it to the hostel they were to stop in. The two I spoke to were Dave and Mike, "The weather was too rough for us to complete our journey, so we spent the day praying that somehow things would sort themselves out. The next thing you know there's a free flight layed on for us, and here we are. It's typical City, we got here eventually!"
They didn't rule out making up for their lost sea journey here by going via Fleetwood and Scarborough to the second leg in Barnsley. Now they can claim to be REAL supporters. Let's hope they get the win here that their dedication deserves.
To read 'Day 2' of Ian's Faroe Islands diary, click 'NEXT'
last updated: 18/07/2008 at 10:37