Arab Cup: Ex-Raider Ranson arrives in Abu Dhabi

PUBLISHED: 09:57 02 April 2018

Streatham's Jacob Ranson (left) challenges Raiders forward Thomas Beesley (pic John Scott)

Streatham's Jacob Ranson (left) challenges Raiders forward Thomas Beesley (pic John Scott)


Archant London sports reporter and former London Raiders forward Jacob Ranson is guesting for Algerian side HC Alger Corsaires at the 2018 Arab Cup in Abu Dhabi and writing a blog about the experience.

Coffee is served (pic Jacob Ranson) Coffee is served (pic Jacob Ranson)

Day 1:

It’s been a long day but I’ve finally arrived in Abu Dhabi.

Although I’m running on just an hour or twos sleep on the plane, I’m raring get in the sunshine and start exploring.

The breakfast buffet (pic Jacob Ranson) The breakfast buffet (pic Jacob Ranson)

I set off from my house at 12.30pm to catch a 4.55pm flight from Heathrow to Rome, where I would have a one-hour wait, before boarding a five-hour flight to Abu Dhabi.

The Ethihad airline was phenomenal, I must say: touch screen TVs, proper cutlery, and a nice meal all provided as well as plenty of leg room.

Once landing in Abu Dhabi i was met by a taxi driver who immediately saw my hockey sticks as I walked through and said “Ice hockey this way”.

My kit and myself was loaded into a mini bus that looked like an old camper van and off we set for the hotel.

Jacob Ranson relaxes ahead of the Arab Cup in Abu Dhabi (pic Jacob Ranson) Jacob Ranson relaxes ahead of the Arab Cup in Abu Dhabi (pic Jacob Ranson)

On route we drove past some beautiful sites including one of the wonders of the world in the Sheikh Zayed, which I’m hoping to visit, before arriving at the hotel.

I got to the hotel at just gone 7am and, as to be expected, the room was not ready, so instead I was offered breakfast and shown to the pool.

It was not your ordinary breakfast as there was noodles, rice, turkey, bacon and humus at the buffet, along with a mix of freshly squeezed juices.

After filling my belly and quenching my thirst I headed off to the pool for a few hours to wait for my room.

Later on I’ll be off for a little bit of exercise poring and my first training sesssion with Algeria’s Corsaires ahead of the Arab Cup tournament.

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