Vincent Kompany is eagerly anticipating the prospect of taking part in the Barclays Asia Trophy and the chance to engage with “a very knowledgeable crowd” in Hong Kong.
Kompany will lead his side out at the Hong Kong Stadium to take on South China on 24 July in the semi-finals of the competition, before meeting either Tottenham Hotspur or Sunderland on finals day at the same venue three days later.
“I’ve been to Hong Kong before and I absolutely loved it there,” Kompany told 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 regards the Barclays Asia Trophy as an experience that can help the squad forge a strong team spirit and that facing Premier League opposition 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”
“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 South-East Asia is likely to place demands on the fitness levels of the players at the Barclays Asia Trophy, Kompany is unfazed by temperatures that are likely to soar into the high thirties.
“I think it will be a good preparation,” says Kompany. “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.”