Focus fixed on Al Jazira

Auckland City midfielder Cam Howieson. Credit: Phototek

Cam Howieson says his Auckland City FC team-mates are focused on only one objective – Wednesday’s opponents Al Jazira.

The former Burnley and St.Mirren midfielder has made a starting slot his own since joining the Navy Blues from domestic rivals Team Wellington in January and he says he can’t wait for tomorrow’s clash with the UAE champions.

“We’re looking forward to the game with Al Jazira. The friendly game we played with Al Ittihad was very physical but we were happy to get the legs moving after a long flight.

“Preparations have been very good and the facilities we’ve been exposed to here in the UAE are top class,” he told

The Navy Blues have been training at one of Al Ain FC’s many academy facilities for the past four days, a facility the Oceania champions can only dream of owning. Its part of an experience that boggles the mind for the part-timers from Auckland but one that captures the imagination of Howieson and his team-mates.

“We enjoy being part of these big football events. I’ve played at the U-17, U-20 and Olympic football tournaments and this is my first FIFA Club World Cup.

“As a footballer you want to be playing in competitions of this size and I’m hopeful we can perform really well,” he said.

The 9-cap All Whites international was born in Blenheim but has already had a colourful journey through the world of football. It’s one he says he is lucky to have shared with room-mate and midfield rival Te Atawhai Hudson-Wihongi.

“Te Atawhai and I go back a lot of years from our days with the Asia-Pacific Football Academy so we have a good bond.

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