Auckland City will head to Spain in mid-January for a week-long training camp to prepare for their FIFA Club World Cup tournament in Morocco.
Head coach Albert Riera says the side will play three warm-up games in Spain to help players adapt to the conditions and type of opposition.
Main photo: Albert Riera … Auckland City’s head coach.Photo: Shane Wenzlick / Phototek.
The Navy Blues will play teams selected for their ability to replicate the style of football likely to be played by City’s first-round opponents, Egyptian Premier League leaders Al Ahly.
City meet Al Ahly on Wednesday February 1. The winner goes through to the second round and earns an expected US$1 million in prizemoney, while the losing team exits the tournament with prizemoney believed to be US$500,000.
City’s training camp will be held at the Futbol Salou Sports Centre, near Barcelona.
It’s a world-class facility used by international squads and top clubs.
Inside the Futbol Salou Sports Centre
Coach Albert Riera says experience from past tournaments has taught City how to prepare.
“In past tournaments we would go straight away to the first game and so we need friendly games with opponents that are going to be very similar to what we’re going to encounter.
“That’s why we are going to the Futbol Salou Sports Center in Spain and we’re planning to play three friendly games that are yet to be confirmed.
“Our players are going to suffer and they’re going to struggle and work hard to get up to speed but in many ways this is where we want be.”
Before leaving New Zealand, City will train at Nixon Park, Kingsland, and will play an inter-squad match at Kiwitea Street on Sunday January 15.
The travelling party flies from Auckland in two groups, departing on Monday January 16 and Tuesday January 17.