Jozy Altidore

Altidore finding his feet

by Stuart Vose

Striker settling in well as Hong Kong trip approaches.

American frontman Jozy Altidore is settling in well as Sunderland prepare to head to Hong Kong.

Altidore has spent the last week or so in the company of his new team-mates at a training camp in Italy.

He took part in two behind-closed-doors practice games as the Black Cats prepare for their opening game of the Barclays Asia Trophy tournament against Spurs next week.

And Altidore is delighted with the way he’s been welcomed by the group, which also features a number of other new faces with the club busy in the transfer market.

“The guys are fantastic and everyone gets on really well so I’m really happy to come into a group like that,” he said.

“I’m an easy-going guy and I think I’ll get along really well with everybody so I’m just really excited to be here.

“I knew of them and I’ve played against a bunch of them so it wasn’t too strange to me; the only difference is that I’m on their team now.”

Altidore, who hails from Livingston in New Jersey, is no stranger to adapting to a new environment having made the move from first club New York Red Bulls to Spanish side Villarreal in 2008.

A subsequent switch from Spain to Dutch outfit AZ Alkmaar proved to be a big success and the frontman is hoping for more of the same on Wearside.

And he feels the spell in Italy has been a productive one as he adjusts to his new side.

“I’ve come from a Dutch system which is totally different,” Altidore said.

“But we’ve got some great players here and I’m excited to get to know them and adjust to them, because that’s what has to happen.

“[Warm-weather training] is a big thing for us because in this heat you can get fitter a lot quicker – I think it’ll help everybody out.”