Melbourne City FC attacker Craig Noone has opened up on what the first two weeks inside the New South Wales based hub have been like and what is driving him and his teammates to succeed.
City complete their 14-day quarantine period on Saturday before moving to the Hunter Valley to continue their preparations for their return match against Sydney FC on Saturday 1 August.
“It is a unique situation, but we’ve come here to do one thing and that’s what we’re all working towards,” Noone said. “The first couple of days were hard for everyone under the circumstances we were in but as we’ve settled into a routine it’s been a lot easier. We’ve been training well and training hard, and it all just comes down to what we’re here for and what we’re working towards.
“It’s difficult for everyone, we’re all in the same situation, we’ve all got families and partners that are based everywhere and it’s difficult for everyone but I’m lucky I’ve got no children, my fiancée was in Melbourne but managed to get on a flight back to England with her family but once she was all sorted, I was ready and looking forward to getting on with the season,” he added.
“We’ve been to the Hunter Valley before, so we know what to expect. We’ve managed the situation really well as a team with our staff and we’ve all been helping each other and keeping the happiness in the group as well as training hard and having fun when we can. We’ve got plenty of stuff to do here and the team morale is really good, we’ve been working hard to make sure everyone is feeling okay and pulling in the right direction.”
Taking a positive view of things, the Englishman says a lengthy break has enabled the squad to work on their weaknesses as they’ll look to use a mix of experience and youth to finish off the season strongly.
“We’ve been working really hard on the track and the coaches have had a lot of time to plan our sessions and to work on the things that need improving,” Noone said. “You’ll definitely see a team that’s fit and knows what they want to do.”
“We have a really strong squad; we’ve got a good mix of experienced players and strong younger players too. Lachie Wales is training well, Ramy [Najjarine] is obviously another young lad who is working hard at training and has a good future ahead of him – the coaches and the manager will put the best team out there that they think will win our remaining games,” he added.
“We’ve been working on our chemistry over the past two weeks and even before that in Melbourne, just to nail it down so that we’re ready to go for our first game then the next two and the finals.
“We will be fresh, raring and ready to go and we’re really looking forward to it.”