Words: ACFC Media
Sunday 22 January 2023
SALOU, Catalonia - Auckland City FC's FIFA Club World Cup preparations step up a notch when they take on Korean champions Jeonbuk Motors at Futbol Salou Sports Complex today at 12pm local time / 12am Monday 23 January NZDT.
Auckland City FC last faced Jeonbuk Motors 16 years ago at the FIFA Club World Cup in Japan when the Koreans swept past City by 3-0 in Tokyo.
The Navy Blues next brush with a team from the K-League was against FC Seoul at the Nike Lunar New Year Cup in 2017 when an Emiliano Tade goal handed City a 1-0 win on the way to winning the competition.
About Jeonbuk Motors
Jeonbuk Motors are coached by former Korea Republic international Kim Sang-sik who guided his team to a ninth league title last season. The two clubs are sharing living space at Cambrils accommodation as well as training at Futbol Salou Sports Complex.
Often the two squads will pass each other in the corridor with very little interaction apart from the occasional awkward greeting. The Koreans have partitioned off their eating quarters from other clubs present which include Gdansk of Poland and Hertha Berlin of Germany.
There is also some added nostalgia to tomorrow's match with Jeonbuk and Al Ahly the two clubs Auckland City FC played at their first FIFA Club World Cup.
Albert Riera on Training Camp in Spain
But for coach Albert Riera these matters will be trivial as he attempts to plot a way forward to the FIFA Club World Cup 2022 in Morocco for his City squad.
The team trained at Futbol Salou Sports Complex today with Riera eager to take his players well outside their comfort zone ahead of 1 February when they tackle the Egyptian giants Al Ahly.
"The team is looking very sharp and full of positivity. We're getting closer to Morocco and have two friendly games ahead of us and Jeonbuk are probably going to be the hardest one.
"As we get closer to the match it's important to give minutes to the players you think are going to need more so that's what we're going to do. It's all about preparation and this is a fantastic game and we'll give all the players a chance to see what its like to compete at that level.
"What we are trying to do is take the players completely out of their comfort zone. When a player is exposed and doesn't feel like what they're doing is what they normally do then that is when they start learning.
"What we're going to try to do in 10 days is try to win a very difficult match. The results aren't important to a certain extent. If we lose all three friendly games but win the fourth then that's what counts.
"Our aim isn't to win games here in Spain so it looks good on our website, our aim is to be exposed and see what it is we need to improve on, how fast our opponents are in one-on-ones. Tomorrow is going to be even harder and obviously we want to give a good image and compete well.
"We have to understand that this is our pre-season and that's why we're trying to use these friendly games to learn things. If we lose, we lose, it doesn't really matter.
"My advice to people is to have belief in what we are doing. Auckland City FC has proved in the past that we can prepare and compete, sure, that is in the past, a different time with different squads, it doesn't matter.
"We have a winning mentality in our club culture but we have to be flexible for a lot of reasons and we will give our best," he said.
Sunday 22 January 2023
Futbol Salou Sports Complex
Jeonbuk Motors v Auckland City FC
Kick-off: 12.00pm local time
AC: 1. Conor TRACEY (GK), 2. Mario ILICH, 3. Adam MITCHELL, 4. Christian GRAY, 5.Nikko BOXALL, 7. Cam HOWIESON, 8. Gerard GARRIGA, 9. Angus KILKOLLY, 10. Dylan MANICKUM, 11. Ryan DE VRIES, 12. Regont MURATI, 13. Nathan LOBO, 15. Aidan CAREY, 16. Joe LEE, 18. Finn DOCKERTY (GK), 19. Liam GILLION, 20. Emiliano TADE, 21. Mike den HEIJER, 22. Adam BELL, 23. Matt ELLIS, 24. Cam BROWN (GK), 25. Taukya IWATA.
UNAVAILABLE: 14. Jordan VALE (holiday), 17. Reid DRAKE (married)
INJURED: 6. Dan MORGAN (injured, did not travel)
COACH: Albert RIERA
ASSISTANT COACH: Ivan VICELICH
GK COACH: Enaut ZUBIKARAI
MASSEUSE: Natalia KOSINSKA
PHYSIO: Matt PAYNE
TECHNICAL: Adria CASALS
ANALYST: Jarrod WALLACE
MANAGER: Keith COTON.
ABOUT JEONBUK MOTORS
Playing at the Jeonju World Cup Stadium, Jeonbuk have won the K League a record nine times, including five consecutive titles between 2017 and 2021, and the Korean FA Cup five times.
The club have also won the AFC Champions League twice, the first time in 2006, becoming the first club from East Asia to win the tournament since it was launched in its current format in 2003, as well as for a time being the only team in the world to have become continental champions without ever having won a domestic league title. This title guaranteed their participation at the FIFA Club World Cup in December 2006.
HEAD COACH - Kim Sang-Sik
Kim Sang-sik was appointed head coach of Jeonbuk Motors in 2021 buit spent most of his playing career with Seongnam Ilhwa Chunma where he played 195 games and scored 11 goals.He played for Korea Republic between 2000 and 2012 and earned 59 caps and scored twice.
PLAYER TO WATCH - Gustavo SOUSA
The 28-year old Brazil-born striker has been with Jeonbuk Motors for the past two years and scored 28 goals in 82 appearances for the K-League champions. Standing at 189cm with a lean frame, the number 9 has previously played for Corinthians in his native Brazil.
FIFA CLUB WORLD CUP PARTICIPANTS 2006 (1)
AFC CHAMPIONS LEAGUE WINNERS 2006, 2016 (2)
K-LEAGUE WINNERS 2009, 2011, 2014, 2015, 2017, 2018, 2019, 2020, 2021 (9)
KOREAN FA CUP WINNERS 2000, 2003, 2005, 2020, 2022 (5)
KOREAN SUPER CUP WINNERS 2004 (1)
AUCKLAND CITY FC RECORDS V KOREAN OPPOSITION
FIFA Club World Cup
15 December 2006
Jeonbuk Motors 3 (Lee Hyun-Seung, Kim Hyeung-Bum, Ze Carlos)
Auckland City FC 0
AC: Nicholson (GK), Uhlmann, Mulrooney (Hayne), Perry, Pritchett, Sykes, Coombes, B. Little (Iwamoto), Jordan, Young (P. Urlovic), Seaman.
Coach: Allan Jones.
Nike Lunar New Year Cup
28 February 2017
Hong Kong Stadium
FC Seoul 0
Auckland City FC 1 (Emiliano Tade)
AC: Zubikarai (GK), Iwata, Bilen (R. Drake), Berlanga (Dordevic), Riera, White, De Vries (Moreira), Tavano, Kim, Lea'alafa (Lewis), Tade.
Coach: Ramon Tribulietx.
MOST RECENT FORM
01.10.22 v. Pohang Steelers (H) won 3-1
05.10.22 v. Ulsan (A) won 2-1
08.10.22 v. Ulsan (A) lost 1-2
11.10.22 v. Gangwon (H) won 1-0
16.10.22 v. Jeju United (A) won 2-1
23.10.22 v. Incheon United (H) won 2-1
27.10.22 v. FC Seoul (A) drew 2-2
30.10.22 v. FC Seoul (H) won 3-1
Modou BARROW 13 goals
GUSTAVO 8 goals
Han Kyo-Won 5 goals
Takahiro KUNIMOTO 4 goals
v Wellington Olympic, 11 March 2023, KO: TBC