“We had a difficult run-in anyway at the back-end of last season,” he added. “But you either come together or break up as a group under difficult circumstances. The team spirit was second to none last year and helped us to win everything. I don’t think that’s been done before as a group and the team spirit was a big factor.”
Joyce will take a younger side than last year due to the impact of the birth-date rules on his selection but at least he will have a bigger pool of players than in 2012.
"It's something different," he stated. "Tournament football is certainly a good education.
"We have got a few more in terms of numbers than last year but it's a younger side and there will be big tests for them physically and mentally. There will be problems with the heat due to the kick-off times but we're looking forward to playing foreign opposition. I hope we give a good account of ourselves and play some decent football."