Monday 01 July 2013
Manchester City captain Vincent Kompany is eagerly anticipating the prospect of taking part in the Barclays Asia Trophy as he is looking forward to a return to East Asia and the chance to engage with “a very knowledgeable crowd” in Hong Kong.
"You meet a very, very knowledgeable crowd – it’s always a great thing to experience"
Kompany will lead his side out at the Hong Kong Stadium to take on South China on 24 July in the Barclays Asia Trophy semi-finals, before meeting Tottenham Hotspur or Sunderland on finals day at the same venue three days later.
The Belgium international, who became the first Manchester City captain to lift the Barclays Premier League trophy in 2011/12, is excited about the trip to Hong Kong, where he has enjoyed the local hospitality in the past.
“I’ve been to Hong Kong before and I absolutely loved it there,” Kompany said in an exclusive interview for premierleague.com. “Shopping was really good and the restaurants, the food, it was overall something that I will never forget and I’m just really happy that we’re going there again.”
The 27-year-old, who joined City from Belgian club Anderlecht in 2008 and has made 153 appearances for the Citizens, also regards the Barclays Asia Trophy as an experience that can help the squad forge a strong team spirit and that facing opposition from the Barclays Premier League in a competitive environment will be a good test of how City’s pre-season is faring.
“It’s sort of an adventure for us as well because we do travel different places and we meet a lot of different cultures as well, so it’s an experience in itself,” he said. “And that’s always a good thing for team-building. It’s a very important part of how we prepare in an all-important new season.
“We’ll need to train hard, assess our levels in those games, see where we’re at compared to other teams and it’s a good way to measure the progress you’ve made as well. I’m sure there’ll be loads of exciting things to look forward to and probably also a lot of new talent coming through, plus the established players, it will be good.”
If the heat and humidity in Southeast Asia is likely to place demands on the fitness levels of the players at the Barclays Asia Trophy, Kompany is not fazed by temperatures that are likely to soar into the high thirties.
"It’s an adventure for us because we travel different places and we meet a lot of different cultures"
“I think it will be a good preparation,” he said. “For us it’s very important that we go through the usual stuff that we do before a game, but even more so when the conditions are so difficult, because we’re not used to it. So it will be the usual indoors kind of situation, which is drinking a lot of water, making sure that you get the necessary sleep, making sure that you do your warm-up correctly.
“Those are all things that we have to take into consideration. But taking everything into account it’s actually a good thing because it forces us to be careful because you know that you’re always going to have different conditions, in Europe as well, during the season.”
Away from the heat of battle Kompany is excited about the prospect of engaging with Hong Kong supporters he considers to be true aficionados of the English game.
“The most remarkable thing for us has always been the fact that our fans in Asia and abroad have always been so well informed about the club, sometimes even more than fans in Manchester,” he said. ”You meet a very, very knowledgeable crowd and I’m just looking forward to it. It’s always a great thing to experience.”
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: