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Auckland City touch down in Japan

Auckland veteran James Pritchett was among the bulk of the squad to arrive from New Zealand and while the fullback admitted to being a “bit jaded” following the travel, he says the Ryutsu Keizai test is already whetting the appetite.
“It won’t be easy but we’re excited about the challenge,” Pritchett says.
The team will go into a four-day training camp before facing the university side on December 2 in a warm-up match at Saitama Stadium, the home of the Urawa Reds club. They will then back up against the J-League winners on December 8 in the FIFA Club World Cup play-offs.
“The travel is always difficult but we’ve had enough experience of that with previous Club World Cups,” Pritchett says.
Ryutsu Keizai University compete in the Japan Football League and will field a close to full-strength line-up for the friendly match against City.
However sizeable the task, Pritchett believes the carrot of a place in Ramon Tribulietx’s World Cup should bring the best out of the Oceania champions.
“There’s a big match coming up on December 8 and everyone wants to play. Every time you play for Auckland City you’re playing for your place in the line-up and the warm-up game with Ryutsu Keizai University is no different,” he says.
Coach Ramon Tribulietx is expected to rotate his players for the game with an eye on selecting his line-up for the play-off match.
“Ryutsu Keizai will be extremely tough and a good hit out for us before we get underway in the tournament,” Tribulietx says.
”We will have to step up and rise to the challenge because with the quality of players they have it will be a very tough match.”
The kick-off time has yet to be confirmed.
Auckland City schedule for Japan 2011
vs. Ryutsu Keizai University
Friday 2 December
Friendly Match
Saitama Stadium
Saitama, Japan
Kick-off: 19h00 (local time)/23h00 (NZT)
vs. J-League winners
Thursday 8 December
FIFA Club World Cup Japan 2011 play-off
Toyota Stadium
Toyota City, Japan
Kick-off: 19h45 (local time)/23h45 (NZST)


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