Having participated in the Premier League Asia Trophy before in Hong Kong, Andros Townsend is excited about the prospect of heading back there with Palace next week.
The England winger featured for Tottenham Hotspur in the 2013 edition which saw Townsend net in a 6-0 thrashing of South China, and he is hoping that Palace’s fixtures against Liverpool and then either Leicester City or West Bromwich Albion will provide the perfect tune up ahead of the new season, as well as give some loyal supporters the chance to see some of English football’s biggest names.
“I’ve been there before and it’s a good tournament as you get to test yourself against Premier League sides abroad,” Townsend said. “It’ll be a good indication of where we’re at with the new way we’re looking to play so it’ll be a good test.
“The Premier League is massive over in Asia so to go there and see the support on the opposite side of the world is incredible. When you play on a Saturday you don’t realise how many countries actually watch it so it’s quite an eye-opener and makes you realise just how big the Premier League is. The fans are so passionate and it’s good that clubs from over here get to go out there and give a bit back.
“I’ve got good memories of playing there and I’m looking forward to going back. In past pre-seasons you tend to play lower league opposition and foreign sides and when you get to the first day of the season you’re caught by surprise, so it’ll be good to test ourselves, especially against a club like Liverpool who are one of the best sides in the Premier League. Then it’ll be Leicester or West Bromwich Albion so we’ll how that goes.”
Townsend will be aiming to have as much of an impact on the season’s early weeks as he did in the final few months of last term, despite being hampered by an Achilles injury during that time. After undergoing treatment over the summer, he reveals that he is fit again now and enjoying being put through his paces during pre-season.
“After a long, tough season it was good to have a break and refresh the body and mind and now I’m all ready to go again,” he said. “I was having a problem with my Achilles and the last few months of the season it was giving me problems, so I wanted to sort it out so I wasn’t carrying it into this season. I had surgery after the end of last season and rehab has gone well, and I’ve come back and I’ve had no problems at all so I’m raring to go again.
“Pre-season been tough but it always is. I’m not one to complain about it; I actually enjoy the fitness side of things and I’m sure over the next few weeks it’s going to get even tougher when the games come.”