Wales players confident they will handle searing temperatures in Qatar
Ethan Ampadu and Mark Harris say they are confident Wales will handle the searing temperatures at the World Cup in Qatar.
Wales have pushed back the start of their daily training sessions from 1.30pm to 4pm local time after being taken aback by the excessive winter temperatures on their arrival in the Gulf state.
Even though it is mid-November, early-afternoon temperatures have been well above average at over 30 degrees Celsius.
“Of course it’s hot but it’s going to be hot for everyone,” said Chelsea defender Ethan Ampadu, who is on loan at Italian Serie A club Spezia.
“It’s something we’ll have to deal with. For us it’s about trying to manage that.”
Cardiff forward Mark Harris is delighted Wales have arranged later training sessions ahead of Monday’s World Cup opener against the United States.
Harris said: “We went out for a walk this morning about 11am and it was very warm.
“We were sweating just walking around the hotel. Obviously, we are not too used to heat like this.
“But I wouldn’t say it’s daunting or anything. I am not sure if there will be drinks breaks or not. That would help.”
Late kick offs
Wales will be thankful that games against the USA and England kick off at 10pm local time when the temperature will be significantly cooler.
The second game with Iran on November 25 kicks off at 1pm.
The Wales squad have eased into their hotel surroundings just off the Corniche, the city’s waterfront promenade that extends for seven kilometres along Doha Bay.
Gareth Bale attracted a lot of interest from the local population during the squad’s morning stroll, with some eyewitnesses saying motorists had stopped their cars to see the Wales captain.
Bale, who has made no secret of his love of golf, has been able to spend some of his spare time using a golf simulator at the team hotel.
Harris said: “I think most of us have had a swing. It’s great fun.
“Team spirit is great anyway, but games like that help you. We also have pool and table tennis.”
Asked if Bale was the best player on the simulator, Harris said: “Yes, I think so.”
Joe Allen joined his team-mates at their opening training session in Doha after missing the squad’s final workout in Cardiff on Tuesday.
Allen has not played since September 17 because of a hamstring problem.
The Swansea midfielder had a short spell alongside Bale, Aaron Ramsey and Chris Gunter in the open session before doing work on his own.
Wales have shelved all talk of the Iran and England games with their full focus on Monday’s opening against the USA at the Ahmad bin Ali Stadium.
Ampadu said: “We are preparing for them and will try and put our stamp on the game to show what we can do and try and get the win.
“No matter what team we play, we are at the World Cup and no one is here to draw or lose.
“We are here to do as well as we can and show how good Wales as a nation can be.”
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