WORLD CUP BLOG: England v Slovenia, the challenges of the Japanese media and a rallying cry for the second round
It is a nice feeling to be able to get up this morning and go into the stadium without the pressure and stories of what will happen to the England team!
It’s England v Germany on Sunday and I have a ticket.
The match is being played in Bloemfontein 450km from where i am now it will be along drive but what a story...this tournament has thrown up the biggest match fixture in English football.
No one here quite knows or understand s the significance of this draw but I do and when I bought the tickets it was just in case England didn’t finish top of their group.
I think most of us thought that both England and Germany would finish top of their respective groups and therefore would avoid each other until later on in the tournament, but such is the unpredictability of football we now as English football supporters face a battle on the field with probably our biggest rivals.
If we want to win the World Cup we cannot be afraid of anyone and no matter who we play we simply have to beat them!
On my way into the stadium, I have to pass the England team base camp, which was already a buzz with TVv crews, photographers camped at the entrance ready to capture the return of the team.
I watched the match with my host family in a fabulous bush bar here in Rustenburg, there was only us and maybe three other people in, so I got the big screen all to myself.
Rugby is a bigger sport here amongst the Afrikaans population so I did have to spend alot of time explaining football to them!
I’m thrilled I took a chance on buying the tickets for Sunday as it was a real impulse purchase!
I also bought tickets to the round of 16 match here at Rustenburg as initially I thought England would finish top and therefore their round 16 match would be here, then I had the opportunity to buy for Bloemfontein also and I thought to myself, let me just get them in case England finish second.
Today is the final group match here at Rustenburg. The match kicks off at 8.30pm local time and I’ve been in the stadium media centre since 9am this morning.
The Japanese media are proving a challenge! Getting lost around the stadium, ending up in places they shouldn’t be, and of course their camera equipment is another story!
Its Denmark v Japan today and since the "super fan", as he’s been tagged here, ran on to the pitch at the last match here (Mexico v Uraguay) security is tighter and an investigation has been launched to ascertain how and where he managed to get through.
We are expecting a full compliment of media today for this match, which is almost 1,000 written press, photographers and commentators, so the tribune will be full and the media centre will be buzzing most of the day.
We still have to distribute the starting line ups, the half time reports from the 4pm matches today which is Italy v Slovakia and Paraguay v New Zealand.
The media centre issues the media with their match day passes to the press conference and mixed zone as well as photographers and tibune tickets.
It will be my final match working here as when Saturday comes, I’ll be sat watching USA v Ghana.
I will still do my runner duties with the team sheets and half time reports and final match reports but apart from that I will be watching the game.
I can imagine the spirits in England have been lifted with the result and the performance of the team last night, a much more determined and passionate team, so from here in South Africa and from Rustenburg, the current home of the England football team, have a really great day and enjoy the success and pride that our team gave us, long may it last as we continue on the road to victory!