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UCFC braces for AFC tourney

We need to go over there and try to find our groove, there’s going to be a lot of tactical and strategic preparations happening.

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United City FC (UCFC) is in high morale as it enters the final stretch of its preparation for the AFC Champions League in Uzbekistan.

UCFC co-owner Eric Gottschalk said the squad had already arrived in Tashkent, Uzbekistan and is raring to set-up a training camp before seeing action in the prestigious club tourney set from 25 June to 11 July.

“The training in Uzbekistan will start on Saturday,” Gottschalk told Daily Tribune.

“We need to go over there and try to find our groove, there’s going to be a lot of tactical and strategic preparations happening.”

The four-time Philippines Football League (PFL) champions kicked off their preparations in Dubai last month, where they boosted their team chemistry with three friendly matches against several teams.

With the return of national players Stephan Schrock, Mark Hartmann, Manny Ott, Mike Ott and Justin Baas from their FIFA World Cup and Asian Cup joint qualifiers campaign in the United Arab Emirates, Gottschalk said they are now ready to boost their firepower with only few days left before kick off.

“Our national team players were able to start training at a very competitive level and they got to play three competitive matches,” he said.

“That is what we need; we need their experience. We need these guys to go out and compete in matches.”

UCFC is bunched in Group I with Japan League champion Kawasaki Frontale, Chinese Super League powerhouse Beijing Guoan FC, and the winner of the playoff match between Daegu FC of Korea and Chiangrai United of Thailand.

The Filipino side is set to face Beijing Guoan FC in their first group match on 26 June.

“We need to go over there and try to find our groove, there’s gonna be a lot of tactical and strategic preparations happening,” Gottshcalk added.

“We can now assemble the team’s starting 11 and we will see what’s going to happen on the 26th. We’re very excited.”

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