Melbourne City embark on Manchester tour

Melbourne City will take on three English clubs as part of a pre-season camp at the Carrington training centre of English powerhouse, Manchester City.

League Two side Bury FC, League One’s Oldham Athletic, and a select side from Championship team Bolton Wanderers FC have been lined up to face the A-League outfit during an intensive 17-day camp.

Recent signing Damien Duff will join his new club in Manchester. Duff, who played 100 times for the Republic of Ireland, signed a one-year deal with Melbourne City last month.

Head Coach John van’t Schip, who will travel with the full squad, expects the players to continue to gel in the UK during the away trip.

“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 Carrington, an exceptional Premier League level facility,” 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 and players in the A-League to have this kind of opportunity, so we are looking forward to forming further bonds with Manchester and Manchester City.”

Carrington is home to five pitches and includes a state-of-the-art medical centre, player analysis unit, boot and dressing rooms and a wide array of further player support facilities.

Coaches and players will depart for the UK on Sunday and next Monday, setting up base at the English Premier League club’s headquarters between July 8 – July 24 before returning to Australia ahead of the FFA Cup’s Round of 32 clash against Sydney FC.

Jason Hoffman, an inaugural player at Melbourne City, said the camp would help the raise the bar in the club’s preparations for the upcoming 2014/15 season.

“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 at Carrington,” Hoffman said.

“We’ve got some great matches lined up against some quality opponents and as a group it will be a great opportunity for us to prepare in the best possible way for the A-League season and the FFA Cup.”

The match against Bury will take place behind-closed-doors at the facility during the camp.

The club will then play the first of two open matches against Oldham Athletic FC at Boundary Park, Oldham, on Saturday July 19 at 3pm (BST).

The second open match will be against a Bolton Wanderers XI at the County Ground, Leyland, which commences at 7.30pm (BST) on Wednesday July 23.

Match Details
Saturday 19 July 2014
Oldham Athletic FC vs. Melbourne City FC
Boundary Park, Oldham
Kick-Off: 3pm (BST)
Wednesday 23 July 2014
Bolton Wanderers XI vs. Melbourne City FC
County Ground, Leyland
Kick-Off: 7.30pm (BST)