City and Germany striker Pauline Bremer believes the Women’s International Champions Cup provides the ideal preparation for our hotly-anticipated 2019/20 campaign.
Nick Cushing’s side have jetted over to the United States to compete in the four-team tournament, where the English cup double-winners will go head-to-head with Lyon, Atletico Madrid and hosts the North Carolina Courage.
With six-time Champions League winners Lyon and Spanish outfit Atletico having defeated City in European competition in successive seasons, and the Courage offering a completely new prospect, Bremer asserts her side will reap the rewards of the challenges.
“Pre-season is really good,” she reflected. “The first impressions have been good and training is good – we’ve really enjoyed it.
“The climate is different to Manchester but we’re not thinking about that too much. We have to adapt.
“We’re happy to be here and excited for the tournament. We’re going to play some good teams and get some good training.
“The games will be tough but it’s always helpful in pre-season to play these games to see where you stand and where you can improve certain points.
“We are playing against the North Carolina Courage and it’s going to be tough. Then we’ll see who we play in the last game.
“Of course, we want to win - it’s a competition and we’re competitive - but the main thing is to improve our game.
“In pre-season games, you can try to improve things. The result goes a little bit behind but we want to win every game.
“We can’t wait to get started.”
With six new faces recruited to the squad over the summer, Bremer explained the time spent together off the pitch on Tour will also prove beneficial.
“We need to gel together as a team,” she added. “The team has changed a lot and we have some new players.
“They are fitting in really well. They are good additions to the team – good improvements – and I am excited for them to start with us.
“It’s been a long break and we need to find our way back to our playing style and improve elements of our game.
“In every position, we have good depth but that’s how you improve. If you’re the only one in a position, you don’t get challenged and I like that challenge.
“First, you have to do what’s best for the team and leave your personal wishes behind.”
City kick-off our tournament against hosts the Courage on Thursday 15 August at 7:30pm EDT (Friday 16 August, 12:30am BST) to determine who will face either Lyon or Atletico in the Final and Third-Place Play-Off on Saturday.
With three of Europe’s top sides locking horns with the American outfit and 40 World Cup stars in attendance, the WICC tournament has created a real buzz in North Carolina and Bremer is pleased to be part of it.
“WakeMed Park is a big stadium where lots of people can come and watch,” she added.
“The World Cup in the summer was great and now at Club level, we can reach out and raise awareness of women’s football.
“The tournament will help a lot.”
City kick-off the 2019/20 Super League campaign with a mouth-watering Manchester Derby, hosting Manchester United on Saturday 7 September at 3pm at the Etihad Stadium in the first encounter between the sides since the league was formed. Tickets are available and kids go FREE – don’t miss out!