Preseason is very much underway for the ISL sides at their various camps globally, and results are a mixed bag to say the least. But hey, it is preseason and you can never judge a team by its preseason results (unless of course they have won all of them then fans are perfectly entitled to start believing it is their year).
In the last week, North East United have beaten Neroca FC 2-0. Not knowing anything about Neroca, it is hard for me to pass judgement. The goals were scored by Danilo and youngster Sushil Metei.
FC Goa have also been in action, playing Spanish Segunda B (third division) side Real Murcia at La Manga. Having lost to Cartagena the week before, FC Goa were much improved in a 2-1 defeat. Three days later and the side finally claimed a win, Adrian Colunga, Manuel Arana and Ferran Corominas all scoring in a 3-0 win over Deportiva Minera.
Steve Coppell’s Jamshedpur FC have been in action in Thailand. They beat Chiangmai FC 2-1 and face Bangkok tonight.
Pune City FC’s Baljit Singh Sahani has been speaking to The Hindustan Times about his side’s hopes for the ISL season.
“I am happy to represent FC Pune City. The training facility, equipment and the support staff, including the team management, is really impressive. We all are working towards one aim, that of growing every passing day into a formidable unit. The club is really professional and I believe this time FC Pune City will be a different team than what has been seen in the past,” said Baljit.
The midfielder continued;
“Ranko (Popovic) is really one of the best coaches I have worked with. His analysis of every player is spot on and he fine tunes the training for everyone based on his observations. He is known for developing young players in his coaching career, so it works well for our side which has so many talented youngsters. He is really training us hard in the preseason so that we are prepared for the longer season.”
“Our preseason is going well. The team is working on technicalities and focusing on fitness as the season is going to be a longer one. Since our entire team is fresh, all of us are learning a lot right now.”
Local fans could well have believed they would miss the traditional Bengaluru FC vs East Bengal fixture that graced the I-League for so long. With Bengaluru now in the ISL, the clubs will play two friendly matches in just three days with the first being tonight.
Following Bengaluru crashing out of the AFC Cup last night, Head Coach Albert Roca is believing the side can recover and lift the ISL.
“There is less than a month to go for ISL. It is going to test our efforts in that and as much as we work hard, we can take the trophy from there”.
Bengaluru FC lost to Tajikistan side FC Istiklol 2-3 on aggregate in the two-legged Inter-Zone final.
Dehli Dynamos have finished their two-week stint in Qatar and signed off with the blessing of Barcelona great Xavi Hernandez.
“It’s my pleasure to be here to see Delhi Dynamos. I wish all the best to them. They have a very good coach, have been preparing well and hopefully they will win many titles this year.”
The Dynamos have an agreement with Qatar’s Aspire Academy which will see them work together closely over the coming seasons.