Yaya Toure says the Manchester City players are eager to lock horns with sister club Melbourne City after a gruelling start to pre-season training on the Gold Coast.
Manuel Pellegrini’s men have been enduring as many as three training sessions per day after arriving in Australia as they seek to build the fitness they will require to challenge for the Premier League title and other major honours in 2015-16.
City tackle Adelaide United behind closed doors on Wednesday before a clash with Melbourne City at Cbus Super Stadium in Robina three days later.
And despite their tough physical schedule, former Barcelona man Toure is looking forward to testing himself against A-League opposition.
Man City commence Aussie tour
Asked about his early impressions of Australia, he told the club’s website: “It’s good, it’s nice.
“It’s my first time here. We’re looking forward to seeing our fans and our sister (club) as well. We’re going to play a friendly in a couple of days, it’s going to be nice and very exciting. We’re enjoying our time here.”
While hardly needing to wrap up warm, undergoing pre-season during the mild Gold Coast winter is also a new experience for City, with many British clubs accustomed to sweating through the height of summer in the United States or Asia ahead of each new campaign.
“It’s something strange because normally the weather is hot,” he said.
“Maybe next time the club should ask me and I will give them the idea to go to Africa one time.”
The 32-year-old Ivory Coast international is now one of the elder statesmen in the City squad but isn’t lacking enthusiasm ahead of the upcoming season, with the club’s up-and-coming brigade keeping the older players on their toes.
“We’ve been working well and we’re looking forward to the first game starting,” he said.
“The pre-season is (some) of the harder work before the season starts but I think it’s good – we can work all together. A few of the lads have started now, the rest are going to come in and join us (later).
“It’s always tough. Today we have three sessions and tomorrow we have three again. It’s good though because we have the young lads pushing us. That’s why we love football.”
Melbourne City snap up ex-EPL defender
After their matches on the Gold Coast, City will relocate to Melbourne for International Champions Cup games against AS Roma on July 21 and Real Madrid three days later.