Manager Martin Jol and captain Brede Hangeland are pleased to have landed in Costa Rica and are keen to use the games to prepare for the new Barclays Premier League season.
Jol’s men play C.S. Cartagines on Sunday, before taking on Bryan Ruiz’s old club L.D. Alajuelense on Wednesday and then a match against Deportivo Saprissa next Saturday sees them finish the tour.
“We expect to play three very good games, for us it is wonderful to be here,” Jol said. “The facilities are good, we started training today and tomorrow we have two sessions and we play the first game on Sunday.”
When asked about our Costa Rica international, Ruiz, and whether he would play much of a part in the games with the national side in CONCACAF Gold Cup action this week, Jol added: “It’s nice for Bryan that we are here and he will be in the first two games. We will have to speak to Bryan though because we have just seen him today, he will see our medical team and make an assessment and if Bryan is fit I don’t see a problem, of course he won’t play 90 minutes but most of the guys in the first two games won’t play 90 minutes.
“We will play with 22 players at least, we have 25 players with us which include a few youngsters but you will see all the players we have. We have three new signings with us and they join our existing players.”
“You know Bryan as well as I do, in Costa Rica you must love him as he is one of our better players. Next year he will prove that again because he had a very good season last season.”
Captain Brede Hangeland is also pleased to have made the trip to Costa Rica and is looking forward to getting a good welcome from the fans.
“It’s very nice, we’ve only been here a few hours and we are happy and Bryan is a happy and nice guy so we expect everyone in Costa Rica to be the same,” he said. “We can’t wait to get going with training and the matches. Whenever we play we always try to do our best but we are probably not at our highest level at the moment as we have not long started pre-season. We’ll do our very best and hopefully put on some good matches for the people to watch.
“The most important thing is that we have just come back to pre-season and it’s the start of the preparations of a very long and hard Premier League season once again, so it’s important for us to get that fitness back and we are going to play three really good teams. So we are expecting a good camp and great preparation for the new season.
“I have, in the past, played against some teams from this part of the world and I’ve always found them to be very good with technically gifted players with a good work ethic. We expect tough games and hopefully they will be good for the fans to watch.”