Manchester United are to embark on their pre-season tour from next week when they fly out from Manchester on Wednesday 10th July.
One of the players of last season, Michael Carrick is more than looking forward to it.
The following interview from manutd.com, shows how much the England midfielder is excited to get started again with United.
What’s the one thing you enjoy most about tours?
The fans, the cities you visited, spending time together as a squad, just being back training… In some ways I think it’s good for us to get out of our bubble and our routine in Manchester and visit different places like the Far East and Australia. They’re not places you get to see very often and you get to see what the club means to the fans by the fantastic reception we’re given everywhere we go.
What are you expecting from the facilities in Australia?
I’m sure they’ll be similar to those in the United States as they’re also a sporting nation that has been very successful in all sports. I’m sure the facilities will be of a high standard as they take sport really seriously in Australia. I’m really looking forward to the visit there.
You’ve been to Asia before with United. What are your memories of the support United enjoys in that part of the world?
I still remember the first time I went there with United and how were mobbed as soon as we arrived at the airport. It was something I’d never really experienced and it made me realise how big this club really is.
Few clubs have the impact that United at home and abroad do they?
No, it’s crazy. One of the reasons I enjoy going there is just to see the reaction of the fans. It can take you back a little bit sometimes – even though they live a long way from Manchester the reaction the people give us over is amazing.
You’ve experienced visiting Asia with Ji-sung Park, what kind of reception are you expecting Shinji to receive in Japan?
I’d expect it to be something similar to what we saw with Ji. Shinji is the man over there and I’m sure he’ll get plenty of attention.
We’ll be playing at the International Stadium Yokohama where we won the Club World Cup in 2008 – what are your memories of the stadium and your stay in Yokohama and how proud were you to win the tournament?
It doesn’t really get spoken about much but, for me, it was massive. Chelsea missed out on winning it at the end of last year and you could see how devastated the players were. To get to that stage anyway, you’ve got to win the Champions League and not many people do that. It’s the second step after that to win it and it meant an awful lot, as much as everything else, if not more. I have special memories of going there and achieving what we did.
From a player’s perspective, what are the aims of a pre-season tour? What do you hope to get out of it?
A good pre-season gives you that base you need to keep going throughout the season. If you miss pre-season, you have to play catch-up. Every player is different – some can come back [from the summer break] and get straight back into it but others take a bit more time. I think it’s a vital part of the year – it’s important to get through pre-season and steer clear of injuries and be ready for the games at the start of the campaign.