It will be one in and one out at Manchester City’s Carrington training base – as Melbourne City move in and the Blues chase an American dream.
City’s cousins from Down Under – after Melbourne Heart were rebranded last month – are holding a 17-day training camp in the UK before returning to Australia for their FFA Cup clash against Sydney FC.
They will face a trio of Greater Manchester Football League sides with a behind-closed doors clash against Bury, Oldham Athletic (July 19) and Bolton Wanderers (July 23) as well as making full use of City’s sport science, medical and performance analysis facilities.
“This tour will form an important part of our pre-season and it is a great opportunity to prepare for the A-League season, utilising the exceptional facilities in Manchester, which are of Premier League standard,” John van’t Schip said.
“It also presents us with a great opportunity to play teams from the English leagues, for our squad to gain fitness and experience, and to ensure we are progressing well ahead of our season.
“It is unique for teams in the A-League to have this kind of opportunity, so we are looking forward to forming further bonds with Manchester City and the whole City football organisation.”
And Jason Hoffman, who has been at the club since they formed in 2009, said the camp would be invaluable to aid the club in improving on last season’s bottom-placed finish for next year’s campaign.
“It’s going to be a great experience for the whole team to go over to Manchester and to use what is a top-class training facility and world class technology and know-how,” Hoffman said.
“We’ve got some great matches lined up against some quality opponents and as a group it will be a great experience for us to prepare in the best possible way for the A-League season and the FFA Cup.”
Manuel Pellegrini’s Premier League winners will be out of the country while the Aussie invasion takes over Carrington.
For the Blues, they take on Sporting Kansas City before facing AC Milan, Liverpool and Olympiakos on their travels in the United States.
Players involved in the World Cup will join up with the party late and City still have five representatives in the semi-finals of the tournament.
Argentinian threesome Pablo Zabaleta, Martin Demichelis and Sergio Aguero are still involved in Brazil after dumping club skipper Vincent Kompany’s Belgium out with a 1-0 win at the weekend.
Fernandinho is the other South American star representing the Eastlands outfit and is looking for success when Brazil take on Germany in their home country with a place in the final at stake.
Main image courtesy of Melbourne City FC via YouTube, with thanks.