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USA BLOG - THE SING-SONG

evertonfc.com , 27th July 2007 - 18:38

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Stepping out onto a pitch in the Premiership and playing in front of 40,000 people is second-nature to Everton's players.

But getting up to sing a song in front of 30 teammates and staff? It is enough to strike fear into even the most experienced of professionals.

As ever, a highlight of the Blues' pre-season tour has been the sing-song that takes place during the trip.

This year Fleming's restaurant in Manhattan Beach, Los Angeles was the venue for the revelry. Any member of staff that has joined the Club in the last 12 months has to perform a rendition of any song - provided it is not a track that has already been bellowed out that evening by another player.

That meant the spotlight shone on Phil Jagielka, Anderson de Silva, Steven Pienaar and Tim Howard - who had to give a song because he was only a loan player when he got up to perform in Dallas 12 months ago.

With Joseph Yobo acting as MC, the night proved a hit - with Jags' first song going down so well he got up again to belt out another - and had to be restrained from singing a third!

Anderson de Silva was joined by Nuno Valente and Mikel Arteta - or the Three Amigos as they shall now be called following their hilarious but indecipherable version of (apparently) a traditional Iberian number.

Steven Pienaar followed the same route by choosing a South African song that only seemed to be familiar to Joseph.

Tim Howard took the fact he had to sing for a second consecutive year exceedingly well, opting for the southern classic of Sweet Home Alabama.

It is always one of the highlights of pre-season and the night serves to provide a further reminder of the great camaraderie that is present in the squad - with the barracking of each act adding to the fun.

That followed an eventful day, with the Blues taking time out for sessions at the LA Galaxy's Home Depot Centre HQ to journey to Manhattan Beach for a jog on the sand followed by an impromptu game of head tennis using the volleyball nets that are dotted all along the LA coast.

The unfamiliar faces proved a draw for the crowd, with dozens of locals gathering round to marvel at the football skills on show - and laugh at the jokes and mickey-taking going on between the rival teams.

There have been double training session virtually every day during the time in LA - but being able to enjoy the LA sunshine and the sights has made it a thoroughly enjoyable training break for the players, who took time out to meet David Beckham at the LA Galaxy's gym on Wednesday.

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