Vincent Kompany says he is delighted to be back training with the squad and can’t wait for the club’s pre-season tour, starting in South Africa this week.
The skipper joined most of his teammates at City’s Carrington training ground on a sunny day in Manchester as preparations for the new season formally began under new boss Manuel Pellegrini.
“It’s great to be back, I’ve been looking forward to this for a while! Football is what we love to do, so I’m pretty happy to be here and the weather is perfect at the moment, so it’s great to finally start the season,” smiled the captain.
“I think all of us have done some preparation work during the holidays though because the guys look very sharp after a long break, so that’s great.
“It was also nice to start work with the new manager and I think his approach with the team today was really good.
“It’s important now to try and improve on the last campaign and make sure that whatever the new manager brings in, that we try and make it our own as quick as possible.”
The players have just a few days at Carrington before jetting off on a pre-season tour which begins in South Africa later this week.
It will be the club’s second visit to the country after Mark Hughes’ side competed in the Vodacom Challenge in the summer of 2009 and Kompany says it’s something the whole squad is looking forward to.
“I’m really excited about the trip to South Africa, especially as I missed out last time as I had to have surgery on my foot,” he said.
“Symbolically it’s a big thing for me as Nelson Mandela is one of my heroes and examples.
“The squad had the pleasure of meeting him on the last tour, but just to be there this time is important for me even though I know it is a difficult time as he is in poor health.
“It’s also good for the team to visit Africa as we know how big the fan base is there. The fans might not all live in Manchester, but they probably feel the same as anyone living in Manchester about this club, so that is a great thing.”
The new boss wasted no time in getting the team into training mode and hard work began in earnest today as the Blues seek to build on their success to date.
Vincent admitted that although City are aware they will face some stiff competition, the team are setting their sights high this season.
“We’re at a big club, so the only goal we can have is to win trophies. There’s about six or seven clubs in England alone in this situation, so it will be very competitive,” he declared.
“Our objective this year is to win things and to play well together. We all know that we have to be very strong as a team and bond with each other.
“It’s an important year for everyone; we have a lot to put right after last season and internationally it’s a World Cup year, so there are so many reasons to perform well.
“We’ve got the squad to do that, but a lot of hard work needs to be done first.”
We will be following the pre-season tour every step of the way, so make sure you keep an eye on mcfc.co.uk for all this summer’s updates.