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Auckland City hit the ground running

The final group of players of a 22-man Auckland City squad touched down in Hong Kong early Thursday morning and were soon lacing up their boots for the first of ten precious trainings before next Thursday’s mammoth playoff for a place in the quarter-finals.
“Every second we have together is priceless,” Auckland City coach Ramon Tribulietx says.
“So it’s important to get everyone adapted into the environment and switched on to what we need to do next week.”
Manel Exposito and the first batch of players arrived in Hong Kong yesterday, joined by Ivan Vicelich, Riki van Steeden and the rest of the squad a day later.
Influential captain Vicelich – who notched his 85th All Whites cap against China recently – is eager to get to work ahead of the match with Sanfrecce Hiroshima.
Prize money for a seventh-place finish at the FIFA Club World Cup is worth a cool $500,000USD, but victory over the J.League winners would see Auckland City’s prize pool double.
Temperatures dropped to zero degrees centigrade with the team aiming for a short but sharp evening training session at the Olympic Training venue in Tokyo, not that that fazed Tribulietx or the players.
“We’ve played in similar conditions in Japan last year so we need to adjust quickly, and it will be a productive week on the training pitch,” Tribulietx adds.

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