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The China Diaries - Day 5

Matt Burgan  October 14, 2010 3:00 PM

After breakfast and an optional Tai Chi session, the first full day in Shanghai saw the group head to Yangpu Primary School in the morning at 10.30am.

There were plenty of enthusiastic children kicking and handballing the footy on the astroturf surface. The players took basic drills, but the overriding atmosphere was one of fun.

And some of the youngsters were impressive.

One kept kicking the footy to himself soccer-style, which caught the eye of Neville Jetta, who joked the kid should be signed up straight away!

Following the clinic, the group arrived at Jiangwan Stadium for a light training session. The party was also greeted by two tubs of Subway sandwiches, which was like watching a flock of seagulls battling over chips at the beach!

It's an impressive stadium, which had already been transformed into an AFL playing ground.

Following the 90-minute session, the team headed back to the hotel, while others from the party wandered the streets of Shanghai. Some grabbed a coffee, others did some shopping.

Those walking the street were quickly greeted by a sea of people and ambitious locals attempting to sell the locals DVDs, watches and novelty toys.

David Neitz managed to land a couple of shirts - after battling to find the right sleeve length! He was now fully prepared for perhaps the most eagerly-awaited event of the trip!

The boat cruise along the Huangpu River provided a stunning look at the cosmopolitan city of Shanghai.

The bright lights and weird and wonderful architecture were truly a sight to behold.

As the entire touring party and supporters group enjoyed a wonderful evening, Cameron Schwab and Chris Connolly presented the past Demons on the trip - they were Brian Dixon, Robert Flower, David Neitz, David Schwarz, Max Walker, Mike Collins, Kelly O'Donnell and Peter Maynard.

Schwab spoke of the importance of this trip bringing the club together, and using the experience as a reference point for the future.

A rousing rendition of 'It's a Grand Old Flag' was also belted out.

Following the cruise, which lasted from 6-8pm, everyone headed to Mint - regarded as one of the world's greatest clubs.

It was hosted by successful Melbourne boy and Demons supporter Alistair Paton, who treated the touring party to a night to remember.

Or perhaps not for some who enjoyed the occasion too much!

Either way, it was an outstanding function, and full of fun.