Bengaluru, November 12: Just ahead of their first match of the tournament on November 17, Kerala Blasters assistant coach Thangboi Singto said that he is delighted with the facility his team management has provided for his squad and is happy with the balance of the current squad as he believes his team is ready to mount a title challenge this time around.
The former Shillong Lajong coach has been appointed as the assistant of newly named head coach René Meulensteen, who was once the assistant of Sir Alex Ferguson. And while talking about his side's chances in the upcoming tournament, Singto suggested that their training at the pre-season camp was excellent and after having a balanced squad with a mixture of young and experienced blood in his ranks, the 2014 and 2016 runners-up boast of a well- balanced squad.
"It's not easy for a club to sponsor a team to stay one month in Spain. It was the best facilities that I personally have seen, at Marbella Football Centre."
"The players what we have now have won many trophies in football. We have young talents like Mark Sifneos from Holland, Nemanja from Serbia, Courage Pekuson...you might be surprised because I believe we have a good mixture of experienced professionals and upcoming talents. "
The South Indian franchise have appointed former Manchester United assistant coach René Meulensteen as the head coach for this season and have added two big names into the squad with the likes of former Manchester United star players Dimitar Berbatov and Wes Brown as their marquee signings as well as obtained ISL top scorer and former ATK star forward Ian Hume for the forthcoming competition.
They have also managed to obtain local stars like CK Vineeth, Rinto Anto, Sandesh Jhingan and youngster Prashanth Karuthadathkuni from the Indian player draft, while also adding new promising foreign faces Mark Sifneos and Courage Pekuson which increased the balance of the squad, signifying many to term them as this season's favourites.
The team of former Indian cricketer Sachin Tendulkar recently have come back from Spain on October 27 following their completion of the pre-season where they played four friendly matches and trained at the Marbella Football Centre in Spain.
The team won twice, drew and lost one match each during the camp and now will face league rivals ATK next in Kochi on November 17 in the season opener match of ISL.
Goalkeepers: Paul Rachubka, Sandip Nandy, Subhasish Roy Chowdhury.
Defenders: Nemanja Lakić-Pešić, Wes Brown, Pritam Kumar Singh, Sandesh Jhingan, Lalruatthara, Lalthakima, Rino Anto, Samuel Shadap.
Midfielders: Milan Singh, Arata Izumi, Loken Meitei, Siam Hanghal, Ajith Sivan, Courage Pekuson, Jackichand Singh.
Forwards: Karan Sawhney, Prasanth Karuthadathkuni, Iain Hume, C.K. Vineeth, Mark Sifneos, Dimitar Berbatov.