Soccer-Sleepy Man City fail to silence Austrian church bells

VIENNA, July 10 Tue Jul 10, 2012 12:34pm EDT

VIENNA, July 10 (Reuters) - English Premier League champions Manchester City tried to silence the bells of a 13th century church so they could sleep longer at their Tyrolean mountain training camp but failed to persuade the authorities to agree to the request.

"They tried to have it put back from 8 until 10 in the morning but they didn't succeed," said a local official in the Austrian village of Seefeld, near Innsbruck.

The official said the 12-day training camp had been three months in the planning as a delegation of 10 from the team's staff organised every detail from security to diet and sleeping arrangements.

Rooms at the Klosterbraeu hotel were kitted out with special mattresses flown in from Rome at a cost of 1,000 euros ($1,200) each. The 1.91 metre-tall (6'3") Yaya Toure had to have an extra-long mattress specially made.

The team, managed by Italian Roberto Mancini, flew in their own Italian chef to supervise kitchen staff in the preparation of pasta-heavy, low-fat meals.

The players are allowed no butter, ketchup or sauces, and items on the dining tables must be arranged in a particular way.

The region is popular with sports teams as its 1,200 metres altitude makes training more effective and the journey to Innsbruck airport is short, with all local amenities reachable on foot.

After three training sessions and two meals per day, punctuated by massages, the players have free time after 2100 and are popular with locals and tourists who crowd around the hotel entrance, the official said.

($1 = 0.8160 euros) (Reporting by Georgina Prodhan, editing by Ed Osmond)

Comments (0)
This discussion is now closed. We welcome comments on our articles for a limited period after their publication.