Date: 5th July 2006 at 8:13am
Written by:

Stoke City have decamped to Lilleshall this week as they start their first full week of training, but one player is still missing.

Tony Pulis hopes that the week long visit to the National Sports Centre at Lilleshall in Shropshire will give him a chance to get to know the players. Pulis said: ‘Whilst we’re not staying overnight, we’ll be together all day and will all eat together’.

The Potters play their first friendly of the season on Sunday. The traditional pre-season curtain raiser against Newcastle Town will kick off at 12.30pm so as not to clash with the World Cup final on Sunday evening.

One player he will not be seeing yet is Sam Bangoura. He again did not turn up at the start of the week and faces a hefty fine and a carpeting from Chief Executive, Tony Scholes when he does finally land back in the Potteries.

Some reports have put his late arrival down to his desire to leave the club, but fans will remember that he has done this everytime he has been away from the club, even being late when he first joined. This behaviour cannot be acceptable for a professional player and as he was exactly the same whilst playing in Belgium, we can see why the Standard Leige fans were so keen to see him depart last summer.