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Finland Diary: The Black Sea

8 July 2013

A look back on day five of the team's Finland tour...

Ahead of the evening's fixture with Tervarit Dream Team, the players are given the option of a swim in the sea, which is a couple of minutes from the training pitch. A number of players had already visited the beach and rumours circulated about the water being black, so there were no surprises that everyone opts for the gym instead.

Assistant manager Mick Jones and coach Andy Watson still take a walk past the harbour and along the seafront - a nice way to relax before the trip to Oulu for the game. We eventually stumble across a secluded section of the beach, where families are dotted on the sand.

The black colour of the sea we find is due to the wood from the trees on the horizon that have fragmented with the waves. The water is actually clear and warmer than at Skegness beach and Andy opts to go for a swim, before settling on a rock alongside Mick.

From spending time with the back room duo, you really sense their passion for the game as they recall stories from their playing days. Mick shares plenty of anecdotes about his last stint as assistant manager and time as a Magpies' player.

By the time we arrive back at the hotel it is time for the pre-match lunch. The mood is upbeat and we are soon climbing onto the coach for the hour-long journey.

Again, it's a positive evening for the team - another impressive showing that results in a 4-1 scoreline. There are plenty of positive messages arriving from the fans back home, who have watched the match via a live online pay-per-view stream.

Romello Nangle's stunning hit, Tyrell Waite's neat finish, Mustapha Dubuya's first appearance in the black and white stripes - all good signs. Mustapha speaks to us after the game and is feeling good about the team's prospects for the upcoming season.

His pace out wide is something that can be put to great use and he will no doubt be a fans' favourite. Hopefully he will be joined by a couple more new faces ahead of the Galatasaray game and it's safe to say that a lot of work is going in to making this happen, both here and back in Nottingham.

Post-match, we head to a local hotel for food and we manage to catch Andy Murray's decisive game to win Wimbledon. Then, the game is fed onto the screens and we get to watch back some great finishes ahead of the trip back to Kemi.

Look out for more about the trip tomorrow on the official site. For the first look, make sure you sign up to Magpie Player

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