DAY 1

Having recovered from the effects of their lengthy but delay-free 16-hour trip from Perth, the Glory squad are due to hit their South African training ground for the first time later today (local time).

Having recovered from the effects of their lengthy but delay-free 16-hour trip from Perth, the Glory squad are due to hit their South African training ground for the first time later today (local time).

And players and staff alike have already been hugely impressed by the facilities on offer at the stunning Ingwenyama Resort in Nelspruit.

The resort was used by Chile as their training base during their successful 2010 World Cup campaign and has subsequently played host to a string of other top sporting clubs from around the world.

Set in the midst of the high veldt, Ingwenyama boasts magnificent views of the surrounding countryside, but it is the world class football facilities it provides that have made it the venue of choice for Glory boss Ian Ferguson.

From the two pristine, purpose-built training pitches to the state-of-the-art gym and recovery facilities, the resort offers everything that last year-s Grand Finalists could possibly need as they prepare for the challenges of the forthcoming A-League campaign.

Delighted to have the put the travel component behind them, the players are keen to get down to work and they won-t be spared in their opening session with the first tour game against Amazulu scheduled for Tuesday evening (midnight Perth time).

The venue for that clash with the side that finished 7th in South Africa-s top flight last season will be the impressive Mbombela Stadium which was built for the 2010 World Cup when it hosted four games, including New Zealand-s famous 1-1 draw against Italy, during which a certain Shane Smeltz scored the All Whites- goal.

The Glory management team visited the stadium on Monday evening as guests of the mayor of Nelspruit and having watched a watch a pre-season cup game between two of the country-s leading sides, Orlando Pirates and Sundowns, were left hugely impressed by both the venue and the atmosphere created within it.

“It-s a fantastic stadium,” Ian Ferguson beamed.

“It was good to get a first-hand look at the facilities and Bidvest, who we-ll play next week.

“Now we are all excited about our opening game here on Tuesday night against Amazulu, a team we played last year.”

With the ABSA Premiership competition due to get underway in some three weeks- time, Glory-s three opponents on this tour will all be close to full match fitness and will provide a stern test, while the amazingly noisy and colourful atmosphere created by the local supporters will be something of an eye-opener for those players who have not visited this part of the world in the past.

Youngsters Ndumba Makeche, Storm Roux, Brandon O-Neill and Devon Spence and all fall into that category, but they've found their feet pretty quickly already on this tour, more than holding their own in the banter stakes and are keen to secure some vital game time over the next twelve days

Perth Glory-s 2012 pre-season tour of South Africa is proudly sponsored by Kaboko Mining and Okap Ventures and managed by prominent South African firm SportUnplugged.