Indian Super League new entrants Bengaluru FC kicked off their 2017-18 pre-season with an open training session at the Bangalore Football Stadium on Wednesday in front of the Blues’ faithful who turned out in numbers to vociferously cheer their heroes on.
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 day at the Bangalore Football Stadium began with an introductory meeting between the new players and the staff, both technical and non-technical as the club welcomed its new signings into the fold. Albert Roca and co. then quickly briefed the players about their expectations for the tough season ahead while encouraging them to train at the highest level always.
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.”
On the field, it was all about sessions in endurance training which was overlooked by the entire coaching staff. The idea was to assess the players’ physical condition before the day was rounded off with a core session. The players and staff then interacted with the fans before posing for selfies and signing autographs.