With the AFC Cup Inter-zonal Semifinal against North Korean side April 25 SC fast approaching, the Blues wasted no time in starting off their pre-season training in the city three days post the ISL Draft.
Speaking on the sidelines of the season’s first ever training session, Head Coach Albert Roca was delighted to be back in action. “We’re happy to be back on the field. Our target is to build on last season’s progress as we move into a new chapter in the club’s history. But before our domestic season begins, we’ve got big matches coming up fast in the AFC Cup. We don’t want to waste any time and prepare the best way possible for the first leg at home. The Spain tour will also help us massively as it gives us a good opportunity to gel as a squad,” he said.
The new players were introduced at a meeting before the start of training. Club captain Sunil Chhetri said he was confident of the task ahead despite the reshuffle in the squad. “Things will get tougher from here given we have only just assembled a squad. But we’ve got a really good set of players that I’m confident will turn into a unit with time. There’s a nice blend of experience and youth and it’s going to be an exciting season ahead.”
Defender John Johnson and draft recruit Alwyn George are the only absentees from the Blues' injury-free pre-season squad, Goal can confirm. They are expected to join up with their team-mates soon, with the Southern Eagles eager to assemble the whole squad for core training.