Wanderers jet off to Dubai

Western Sydney Wanderers have departed for Dubai as part of a 10-day training camp to prepare for the semi-finals of the AFC Champions League.

The Wanderers knocked out defending ACL champions Guangzhou Evergrande on Wednesday to become the second A-League side to qualify for the semi-finals of the competition. 

Tony Popovic's men are set to undergo an intensive schedule at the NAD Al Sheba Sports Complex in Dubai, which is the private facility of the His Highness Sheikh Hamdan, Crown Prince of Dubai.

The facility has been open for 12 months and has hosted the likes of EPL giants Manchester United.

While in the United Arab Emirates the Wanderers will also take part in the International Petroleum Investments Company Championship (IPIC) in Abu Dhabi against East Riffa Club and Al Jazira FC.

Wanderers CEO John Tsatsimas believes the opportunity not only offers the club exposure to new conditions but also to one of the best training centres in world football.
 
“This is a world class facility conducive to the preparation we need for the coming season,” said Tsatsimas.
 
“This season we are competing on a number of fronts and the opportunity to train at the NAD Al Sheba Sports Complex offers us conditions we have not yet experienced in a high performance environment used by some of the biggest teams in world football.

“Our pre-season tour to China and Japan last season was an experience that offered us both an understanding of the conditions we would face in this year’s ACL and the mentality to deal with the testing travel and playing conditions we would face in Asia.

"We need to acclimate to all the conditions that we may be required to play in whether that be during the hot summer months of the A-League or the Champions League.”

Wanderers will play FC Seoul away in the first-leg of the ACL semi-finals on 17 September, with the return leg set for 1 October at Parramatta Stadium.