Pre-season in Australia is a long and arduous process at the best of times, let alone monotonous.
So when it was confirmed Adelaide United was travelling to Victoria for a training camp to continue preparations ahead of the upcoming Hyundai A-League 2019/20 season it was music to the ears of Paul Izzo.
The goalkeeper said a change of scenery away with the team not only breaks up the normal routine, but helps bring the squad even closer together.
“Pre-season is always so long in Australia so it’s good to get away and be with the boys,” Izzo explained.
“It’s always good fun and training in a different environment is always good as well so it’s really enjoyable.
“Going away with each other, you’re always up to something and always brings people closer and gets the young boys and new players out of their shell.”
The Reds arrived in Melbourne on Friday morning before facing Western United in a friendly on Saturday, before they finish their five-day camp with two games against Melbourne City on Tuesday.
Adelaide played out a 0-0 draw in that match against Western United in Ballarat with Izzo suggesting keeping a clean sheet was a positive, but said they need to be more ruthless up front.
“Obviously being a positive not conceding a goal so we take confidence out of that,” he said.
“I think the coach touched on it as well that we should try to be more clinical at the other end.
“We created some great chances and maybe on another day we score some goals, so there were still some positives out of the game.”
With just over two weeks until United kick-off the Hyundai A-League at home to Sydney FC, Izzo felt the team can improve in all facets of their game.
“I think there’s always room for improvement,” he said.
“We’re not saying we’re perfect at the back either. We can always fix things there and the style is still taking a bit to get used to.
“We’re still adapting and learning and that’s the best part about these camps, when you go away you get 100 per cent focus on what you need to do and what you need to do to improve as a team as well.”
However, prior to their season opener Adelaide have their FFA Cup Semi-final clash against Central Coast Mariners in Gosford next Wednesday.
Izzo said the Reds are determined to reach the Final again and defend their title, though warned the Mariners are an improved side compared to last year.
“Obviously being the cup holders there’s always a target on our back,” he continued.
“We’ve made another semi-final now, so it’s a big competition that we love being a part of and we remember how good the feeling was when we won the final last year.
“I think to replicate that again it would be fantastic for the boys, the new players that have come in, and especially the fans.
“We know Central Coast are a completely different side to what they were last year.
“They’re looking very promising and they’ve recruited very well, so we’re expecting nothing short of a good game.”
Adelaide United face Central Coast Mariners in the Semi-finals of the FFA Cup 2019 on Wednesday, 2 October at Central Coast Stadium. Kick-off is at 7.00pm ACST. Live and Exclusive on Fox Sports and Kayo Sports.