Aké: Manchester City “very happy to be here” as J.League World Challenge nears

Aké: Manchester City “very happy to be here” as J.League World Challenge nears

Coming off a historic treble, Nathan Aké is wasting no time getting back to business. The Manchester City defender stressed that Sunday’s pre-season opener against Yokohama F·Marinos represents an important first opportunity to continue building on the successes of the last campaign and go for an even bigger trophy haul in 2023/24.

"Last season was a great season for every one of us," Aké said.

"But football keeps going forward. Last season is last season. We all have the mentality to go again. I think the first objective is the Community Shield and then after is the Super Cup and the Club World Cup."

Before City can get to those milestones, though, they have challenges awaiting them in Tokyo, with last year's J1 winners and FC Bayern München waiting in the wings. According to Aké, the Citizens have packed a lot into their days so far.

“We’ve arrived and had a busy schedule but an enjoyable one,” he said. “We are very happy as a team to be here.”

Between working on fitness, tactics, and re-establishing rhythm, there likely isn't much time for extracurricular activities, but Aké and his teammates have already made their time in Tokyo count it seems.

“We had time to see a little bit of the town. I’m very, very excited; I think it’s a beautiful city, the people are very friendly, very nice.”

On Sunday, though, Aké expects a team fully engaged, with manager Pep Guardiola seemingly keeping the team focused on the challenges of next season already.

"There’s so much to play for," Aké said. "Everyone’s got the mentality to keep pushing each other to the next level."

Man City and Yokohama F·Marinos are set to kick off at 19:00, with full match details and broadcast information available here for the MEIJI YASUDA J.LEAGUE WORLD CHALLENGE 2023 powered by docomo.