EDS winger Brandon Barker is not simply satisfied with spending a first pre-season with the first-team - he wants to play.
The 18-year old made his debut in the friendly win over Hamburg in January but, by his own admission, he wasn’t able to give a full demonstration of his skills on that occasion.
However, Barker is focused and ready to take any opportunity that may be offered to him by Manuel Pellegrini in the upcoming games against Adelaide and Melbourne City FC on Wednesday and Saturday respectively.
“I really want some more minutes to show what I can do – I don’t feel like I showed what I can do against Hamburg, so hopefully this time I can,” he told mcfc.co.uk.
“It’s been really good to have my first pre-season with the first-team - it’s been very, very tough too.
“We’ve got through three really hard days with triple sessions and there’s more to come before the games.”
The Adelaide game will take place behind-closed-doors at the Cbus Stadium on Wednesday but the manager hinted at his press conference on Saturday that it’s being seen as a low-key check on players’ fitness at this early stage of pre-season.
Saturday’s game against Melbourne City is an entirely different proposition as two City Football Group teams meet for the first time.
Brandon’s EDS teammate James Horsfield (pictured below)spent some time training with the A League outfit in Melbourne last year and he may just prove to be a vital contact for Pellegrini as preparations continue for this historic encounter.
“It’s a great connection we have with Melbourne and Saturday will be a really special game as it’s the first time two of our clubs have played each other,” Barker enthused.
“It’ll be great to play against them – they’re a good team, we’ll watch them and we’ll see how they play which I’m sure is in a very similar style to us.
“Horsy has told us that they’re not a team to take lightly – there are some really good players.
“He said that it will be a really tough game and that he was really impressed with the standard when he was training over there.”
As for the Gold Coast – what does Brandon make of the place City have chosen to spend their pre-season?
His verdict: “It’s a very beautiful place – it’s everything you imagine when you think of Australia and the weather’s been great even if the locals think it’s cold!
“It’s a beautiful place to train, we’ve got great facilities and we’re really very lucky.”
City on Tour 2015, supported by visitabudhabi.ae.