Reds defender John O'Shea took time out from United's hectic pre-season schedule to check in with fans via ManUtd.com...
I'm having a great time down in South Africa. I was here in 2006 as well and that was equally enjoyable.
It’s slightly different to the other places we tend to go – Asia, America, Scandinavia – and we all get different things out of different trips.
I really enjoyed the coaching session we did with the local kids in Cape Town. I think the club are very good at making sure we give back to the community, whether it’s visiting orphanages, coaching kids or signing autographs. All the boys and girls were really keen to improve themselves and I had a fantastic time. I was glad to be a part of it.
I didn't really have any opportunities to meet professional footballers when I was growing up. It’s something that’s only started happening in earnest since I’ve been a player myself. It’s great to see it – it gives kids such a boost when big clubs come along and show an interest in what they’re doing.
As for the football side of things, every professional will tell you that a good pre-season – one that’s injury free and one in which you get a bit of luck – is a great boost. If everyone makes the most of pre-season then the manager will have a few headaches when it comes to getting down to business. But that’s a headache I think he’s happy to have.
While we're here in South Africa, fitness is the main thing we're looking for – we're not too concerned about results. But if we’re scoring goals and making chances then it can only breed confidence. And anyway, the manager doesn’t like losing... none of us do!