While he's away with the England Under-20 squad for the 2013 FIFA U20 World Cup, James Ward-Prowse is blogging exclusively for saintsfc.co.uk.
Ward-Prowse and the England Under-20s squad have now been in Turkey for almost a week, during which time they have played a friendly against Uruguay ahead of their group-stage opener against Iraq on Sunday. The midfielder has been in touch to file his report on how he has spent the last few days:
The togetherness, belief and confidence is growing day-by-day in the camp. We've spent most of our first few days in Turkey acclimatising ourselves to the conditions to give ourselves the best possible chance of reaching maximal performance.
We all had a deserved lie in on the Thursday morning following our heavy travel day. We woke up to glorious sunshine, scorching temperatures and a lovely buffet breakfast - the facilities just like St George's Park are perfect for us. We rested in the morning so we checked out the pool area of the hotel, and we could tell early on the temperature is something we needed to get used to!
In the afternoon we had a light session, consisting of possession games and unit-specific drills. Later on in the evening, the manager Peter Taylor arranged a golf putting competition which was a good team bonding exercise and it's safe to say that a lot of the lads should stick to football!
The following day we had a double session – in the morning, we did possession games and in the afternoon we did a nine-vs-nine match where we worked on our defensive and offensive shape in preparation for our friendly game against Uruguay on Sunday.
In the afternoon, we did some more unit work where the midfielders and strikers went off together to do some shooting practice. It was the first day that the TV cameras were there to film us and they managed to capture a few of my strikes from the session which is now on YouTube!
The next day was important in terms of preparation. We had a double session again where we did small-sided games and some final shape work when out of possession. It was a heavy week in terms of training as we had to cope with the heat, but we were raring to go for the Uruguay match.
The day of the match consisted of a mid-morning walk around the hotel to get a bit of fresh air, before we then had our pre match meals and of we went to face Uruguay. It was a good performance by the team as we won 3-0 and we scored three very good goals. It was pleasing to see that our hard work during the week had paid off.
I played 45 minutes of the match and already I could tell I was coping with the heat and I was pleased with my performance. It's pleasing to see that, although we've only been together a few weeks, we performed very well and beat a good South American side.
After the game, we had a team bonding night where all staff and players attended a BBQ put on by the hotel. We then spent the rest of the evening watching a local band that had come in to entertain guests.
Me with George Long, John Stones and Gael Bigirimana at the BBQ
On the Monday, we all had free time so we spent the morning in the spa where we hae ice baths, massages and swimming sessions to help our recovery.
We then had the rest of the day free so, whilst half of the group went to play golf, the other half including myself took a short trip down the river to the local beach where we spent the afternoon resting, relaxing and enjoying the sun!
We start business again today with another double session, giving us a solid week to prepare for our first opponents, Iraq!
Keep checking saintsfc.co.uk over the coming weeks for more of James's blogs direct from Turkey!