England players feeling at home at World Cup base in Repino
Kieran Trippier is loving life in the England camp so far.
From Fortnite to family pictures, and basketball to banter, unsurprisingly there have been few complaints about England’s World Cup hotel.
Eyebrows were raised when it was decided that Gareth Southgate’s men would base themselves 29 miles north-west of St Petersburg in Repino, a resort on the Gulf of Finland.
Not only remote compared to recent major tournaments, the forRestMix Club is less extravagant than the surroundings players are accustomed to.
But concerns about the 107-room hotel appear to be misplaced, with players seamlessly settling into life in Russia.
Surrounded by members of security and booked since June 5, the Football Association’s operations team has had time to make it ready for players and staff.
As well as bringing in a homelier decor, there have been nice, little touches made to the rooms of players and staff.
Pictures of loved ones were waiting for them in their hotel rooms on Tuesday night, while the hotel website boasts of a “suburban Scandinavian style” with “the simple aesthetics of modern comfort and ecology”.
PlayStations are set up with Fortnite and FIFA18 to occupy players during their downtime, while there is a cinema screen, a basketball hoop and a spa on offer as well.
Right-back Kieran Trippier is loving life in the England camp so far.
“In the camp there’s so much to do, we can’t be bored,” he said. “There’s great team spirit, everybody gets on with each other and has a laugh and a joke.
“We’ve got a basketball court in there, pool tables, table tennis, Fortnite – which the lads are mad about.
“There’s a lot of banter and loads to keep us entertained.”
Asked what has been the most competitive, Trippier added: “It’s Fortnite, to be honest.
“We’ve got a squad on there, about nine players who play it and everyone’s competitive on there. It’s exciting. We have a lot of banter.”
With preparations going so well on the field and away from it, England hope to remain at the forRestMix Club for weeks to come.
The dream is to fulfil their booking up until July 15 – the day of the World Cup final.