After Ireland, we thought that Pre-season Tour could never be surpassed. But it was. Apart from Brighton Wolves, there were representatives from the Berlin Wolves, Swede Wolves, London Wolves and many more at Portugal 2001. About 20 of us stayed in a Pro-German resort called Sao Martino De Parto.
Monday 16th July Caldas
Brighton Wolves and the rest of the Sao Martino Barmy Army ventured to catch one of the three trains that run to Caldas a day. After a last minute realisation that the trains run on the right hand side of the track, we boarded a classic boneshaker of a train for a 15 minute journey to Caldas.
The Caldas ground was something I've never seen in a long time. It was great little ground in the middle of some woodlands. It was free to get in, and if you needed the toilet you popped out the ground and found the nearest tree - a bit like Craven Cottage really. We drew 2-2, and made the sports pages of the Express and Star.
lBrighton Wolves make the Express and Star. Jack Straw's brother Chris can be seen pictured far left. His white legs give the clue that this was the first game in Portugal
Wondering when the beers are arriving.....Come on, we haven't got all day. Hang on, yes we have .....we've got a week long festival of footy, cheap booze and sun. Life don't get better than this. The thought of this being the predecessor to Wolves championship season either means we're drunk, or heading for success. And we want both.
And here comes the first half of that wish.....
After a big fuss of returning the tray to the bar after getting each round we soon clocked on that Caldas wasn't as fully prepared for the amount of away fans to turn up. "You've only have one tray !! You only have one tray !! "
We were made very welcome though.
Wednesday 18th July 2001 un
Next destination Leiriaetc)
The odds of the camera picking this up....but it did !! Not the best of Wolves games ever seen as the picture shows. This was the only ground to ban beer in the ground, and boy could we have done with some. It was also a 9:30pm kick-off, and even Portugal can get quite chilly in the evenings. So maybe being barefoot with just a T-shirt and shorts wasn't the brightest ideas on a foreign terrace.
Is Sean Connelly the sharpest tool in the box ? Not according to an ambitious Butler wanting to pull back a final score deficit of 2-0. The ball goes out of play for a free-kick. Sean picks up the ball, but then goes into a daze, thinking of his family back home. Butler is waiting for the ball to take the free-kick. "Pass us the ball Sean. Sean. Pass us the ball......SEAN......Pass the f*cking ball." At which point Sean woke up, and indeed did pass the f*cking ball. Get those buses out Butler !!!!
Saturday 21st July Alverca
The last game quite literally ended in fireworks. Another game that allowed booze into the ground, and this time we went for it. I don't think I've ever seen a van outside the ground that not only served burgers and hotdogs, but also draught lager and a full selection of optics. No Balti pies though. Its such a shame we have had the hooligan problem over the last few decades, because if things were like this every Saturday....well it brings a tear to my eye. There was no trouble from Wolves fans all week - another reason to be proud of being a Wolves fan.
Photo : Brighton Wolves toasting the dream that Wolves will not only get promoted in 2001/2 but promoted as CHAMPIONS !!!
Sao Martino Barmy Army on the long but assured road to Wolves victory as CHAMPIONS !!!
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