As the fourth season of the Indian Super League (ISL) approaches, the teams know very well that there is a lot at stake this time around. Given that this year's winner gets an AFC Cup play-off spot, planning for the season ahead needs to be even more meticulous.
Moreover, we have 10 teams fighting it out for the top honours after the entry of Bengaluru FC and Jamshedpur FC, increasing the competition. Which is why, the recruitment and preparations before the season are going to be extremely crucial for the teams this season.
With the player recruitment almost completed, most teams have already charted plans to have a fruitful pre-season in order to help gel the team well. And it appears that Spain has emerged as a favourite pre-season destination for the teams.
Mumbai City, FC Goa and Delhi Dynamos will be travelling to Spain in the coming month to start their preparations for the upcoming season while last year's finalists Kerala Blasters are also expected to travel to the Iberian peninsula for training before taking a pit stop at one of the middle east countries.
It is also to be noted that Delhi Dynamos will also travel to Qatar to make use of the facilities at Aspire Academy, with whom they have a partnership.
Also, Bengaluru FC have already undergone pre-season at Spain before their AFC Cup commitments got underway last week.
As far as the defending champions ATK are concerned, Dubai will be their base as Teddy Sheringham and Ashley Westwood plot to land the team's third trophy in four years.
Jamshedpur FC, under the tutelage of Steve Coppell, are expected to undergo pre-season at Thailand. It is to be noted that Coppell's Kerala Blasters, last year, had also trained in Thailand.
Chennaiyin FC are also expected to go abroad but their destination has not been decided yet while FC Pune City will definitely be training at their own facility in India.
NorthEast United FC, on the other hand, will train in Manipur and Shillong but are yet to take a call on whether or not to go abroad as well.