Auckland City’s training camp at FutbolSalou Sports Complex in Salou, Catalonia, concluded with a final training session at the impressive facility today.
Coach Albert Riera declared preparations for the FIFA Club World Cup in Morocco a success after two narrow 1-0 defeats to Redus FC Reddis and Korean champions Joenbuk Motors, and a highly creditable 1-1 draw with FC Barcelona B at Ciutat Esportiva Joan Gamper.
“This training camp has been very positive considering we have come into it from the off-season. This is exactly what we really needed so essentially we are in a pre-season phase going into a World Cup.
“We’ve had ten days here and three very useful friendly games for our players that don’t usually play at this level. It is important for them to understand what is required to be competitive in Morocco and I believe we have achieved that objective.
“We know we’re gonna be playing against an Al Ahly team that haven’t been defeated this season. Al Ahly are 15 games into their season so Futbol Salou Sports Complex has been fantastic and its given us a chance to compete.
“The squad understands the challenge in front of us and we have the belief that we can achieve something very positive on 1 February when we play them in Tangier,” Riera said.
Main photo: Auckland City players warm up at their training session in Spain.Photo: Shane Wenzlick / Phototek.
The squad depart Barcelona in the early hours of Friday January 27 and touch down in Tangiers, Morocco, before relocating to Tetouan where the team will train in the late afternoon.
Players Reid Drake and Jordan Vale are already in Morocco having flown in from New Zealand and England a day early after family commitments saw them skip preparations in Salou.
The good news for Auckland City FC is the quick recovery of striker Angus Kilkolly who went off injured in the 1-0 defeat to Jeonbuk Motors on January 22, 2023.
Kilkolly, who also had a knee injury that kept him out of the team for several weeks, ran at close to full capacity and with five days to go before the winners takes all playoff with crack Egyptian outfit Al Ahly.
FIFA Club World Cup (1st round)
Game to be played on Thursday February 2, 2023
Auckland City v Al Ahly (Egypt)
Tangiers, Morocco (8am NZT)
READ MORE: Our stories about Auckland City’s FIFA Club World Cup campaign >>>>