LADIES TOUCH DOWN IN JAPAN
The Chelsea Ladies team trained in Japan for the first time on Sunday as they prepare for the International Women's Club Championship.
The Blues departed for the Far East from London early on Saturday morning, eventually arriving in destination city Okayama, which will host their semi-final against Sydney FC on Wednesday, some 15 hours later.
Speaking after the first training session on Sunday afternoon, manager Emma Hayes discussed the tournament, which will see Chelsea compete against some of the best sides in the world having been invited to Japan to represent Europe.
'It's a challenge but this is good pre-season preparation for us and a chance to integrate new members of the team and introduce them to our way of playing. We have more winners in the group and that part of our game will hopefully shine through.
'We're out of season but we want to make the final. That's our ambition and I think it's realistic. It's about working in the next few days to beat a top Australian team. We have a full scouting report and some video so we'll prepare the team to be at our best to beat them.'
Forward Rachel Williams (pictured), a recent signing, enjoyed the opening session, and is looking forward to some competitive action on Wednesday.
'So far, so good,' she said. 'We've got quite a few new players come in so it's about team bonding now, working hard and getting to know each other and seeing how each other plays. If we can take that into the game on Wednesday then hopefully we can win.
'We want to put into practice what we've been working on, so that when we go back to England we are already halfway there. For us it's all about having an impact this year. The club has backed us really well and this is going to be a learning curve for us.'
You can keep up with action from Japan on the Ladies' Twitter account, which will bring all the news and behind-the-scenes action from the trip.