Saturday 29 June 2013
Tottenham Hotspur captain Michael Dawson is expecting a “fantastic” atmosphere in Hong Kong when his team kick off the Barclays Asia Trophy against Sunderland on 24 July.
Spurs are one of four teams in the biennial tournament, which is the only Premier League competition to be held outside Great Britain, along with Sunderland, Manchester City, the 2011/12 Barclays Premier League champions and South China, the champions of Hong Kong. Dawson missed Spurs’ previous participation in the tournament, in Beijing in 2009, so is looking to forward to the trip to the Far East, and to experience their passion the fans have for the Barclays Premier League.
"It will be great to see the Asian fans hands-on"
“The Premier League is worldwide, it’s unbelievable, and to be going over to Hong Kong and to see how many fans really do watch the Premier League, it’ll be great for them to see hands-on,” Dawson said. “They’re certainly passionate. I’m sure every game will be a sell-out.
"They’ll be looking forward to seeing the English teams that they watch on the TV every week. And for us to go out there and experience it, the atmosphere I’m sure will be fantastic.”
While accepting that the priority will be to prepare for Spurs’ opening-weekend trip to Crystal Palace, Dawson will still be looking to repeat their final-day victory over Sunderland at White Hart Lane, albeit in less familiar surroundings, to instil a “winning mentality” ahead of the new season.
“Winning is what every football team wants to do and going out there, it’s going to be competitive, and we’ll be going out there to try and win it,” Dawson said. “At the end of the day, fitness and preparing for the first day of the pre-season is the most important, but drilling that winning mentality, it’s a good time to start.”
Such tours can also have an important role to play in helping a club’s squad to bond ahead of the new season, especially any new signings made by the club.
"We normally have the new signings up singing"
“It’s hard work wherever we go but you’re in each other’s pockets all day, 24/7, you wake up and they’re there,” Dawson said. “You’re training twice, maybe three times a day, and spending probably anything from 10-14 days with each other. So you certainly get to know one another.
“For new signings it is great. We normally have them up singing, the new signings, and so probably when they come back they feel a massive part of the squad. So for team-building it’s great, but also the preparation for the Premier League, which is the most important thing.”
Matchday tickets are still available for semi-finals day on 24 July but are selling fast, with seats in only two categories yet to be sold out.
||24 July||27 July|
|Category A||SOLD OUT||SOLD OUT
|Category B||SOLD OUT||SOLD OUT|
|Category C||$300 (£25)||SOLD OUT|
|Category D||$250 (£21)||SOLD OUT|
|Students & Senior Citizens
||SOLD OUT||SOLD OUT|
Tickets for the Barclays Asia Trophy 2013 are available to purchase in Hong Kong via Cityline, the official ticketing agency of the Barclays Asia Trophy, through the following sources: