Sydney FC’s Westfield W-League squad are enjoying a fantastic new experience together in Japan as they get ready for their opening International Women’s Club Championship match in Okayama tomorrow (1430 AEDT).
Sydney FC-s Westfield W-League squad are enjoying a fantastic new experience together in Japan as they get ready for their opening International Women-s Club Championship match in Okayama tomorrow (1430 AEDT).
The Sky Blues face Japanese side NTV Beleza in the first round with the winner set to face European representatives Chelsea in the semi-finals next week.
The trip is a first overseas experience to play football for midfielder Trudy Camilleri, among a squad of seasoned internationals.
“I-m loving it,” she said. “The best bit has been seeing Japan and the warm feeling the people here give you.
“It-s also been great being with the girls. Everyone is really together. If one person wants to go for a walk, then six or seven will go as well.
“It feels fantastic representing Sydney FC and Australia.”
While enjoying the experience Camilleri is also aware that they are there to do a job.
“There-s definitely a high level of professionalism that Staj carries through the team and from all of the girls as well,” she said.
“I definitely expect quite a few people at the game tomorrow to cheer on our opposition. I think it will be fast and nippy and I expect us to really step up to the mark.
“I think there will be quite a few goals to be honest and it will be fast, high quality football.”
After a team walk this morning and lunch, the girls have had a 50 minute familiarisation training session this afternoon at the Kanko Stadium in Okayama, home of J-League division two team Fagiano Okayama.
The team will have dinner this evening and a team meeting before an early start and a 10:30am (12:30pm AEDT) bus to the stadium.
“The hospitality, the food and the accommodation is brilliant while the people here have been very good to us,” said Head Coach Alen Stajcic.
“Everyone is pretty excited [about the game] and it-s a new challenge.
“We-ve trained really well over the last couple of days and the conditions are good if not little chilly.
“But it-s much easier adapting from hot to cold than the other way around,” he continued.
“I-ve been really pleased with how everyone has shaped up so far, our touches have been good and so has our finishing.”
The Kanko Stadium is a kilometre from the team hotel and the girls will need to be at the ground two hours before kick-off.
“We know a little bit about our opposition. They came second in the league and are a traditional powerhouse of the Japanese Nadeshiko League,” said Stajcic.
“They beat Canberra 4-3 in this competition last year. They are technically brilliant, know their game and are excellent on the ball. That-s everything you-d expect from a Japanese women-s team.
“I know my team for tomorrow and we-ll certainly give them a good game.
"We-ve got a lot of talent in this squad and will have players on the bench who can come on and change a game for us.”
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