Tomorrow we’ll fight with everything we have: Kerala Blasters asst. coach Frank Dauwen
Kerala Blasters boss Ivan Vukomanovic is suspended, hence Frank Dauwen will take the dugout.
Kerala Blasters will lock horns with Bengaluru FC in the ISL 2023-24 opener on Thursday. This fixture has sparked a few controversies in the past, but the Blasters contingent will be keen on deleting those memories and eyeing a victory to kick off their campaign on a high.
Pritam Kotal eager to shine
Pritam Kotal, the seasoned defender, expressed his enthusiasm about playing for Kerala Blasters in front of their passionate fans. He stated, “Yes, I’m very excited for tomorrow because this is the first time I’m playing for KBFC in front of these energetic fans. I’m ready, and my team is ready. I’ll give my best to help us win the ISL trophy; that’s my aim.”
Vibin Mohanan’s Greek experience
Vibin Mohanan shared his experience as a player after a training stint with Greek first division side OFI Crete. He has been in good form recently and is expected to start or come as a substitute during the game tomorrow. He said, “The experience was great, and I feel fortunate to have had that opportunity. Almost one month there, and I can clearly feel the difference in India and there. It’s been a valuable experience.”
Frank Dauwen on team’s preparations
Assistant Coach Frank Dauwen emphasized the importance of the first game, especially with the uncertainties surrounding the opponent, Bengaluru FC. He mentioned about some injuries and the players on national team duty but reassured, “We have prepared well, and we’ve had good training in the last 2-3 weeks. I feel the team is ready for tomorrow’s game.”
The start of a new season – Addressing past controversies
Dauwen also addressed the controversy from last season’s playoff clash against Bengaluru FC, stating firmly, “It’s over. We’ve started a new season, a fresh beginning from tomorrow. Bengaluru FC is a good team, and we see it as a new experience.”
Speaking about the pre-season challenges and injuries, Dauwen acknowledged, “The start of the pre-season wasn’t ideal with injuries and players away on national team duty. But this is a common challenge for many teams this year. Tomorrow, you’ll see us fighting with everything we have.”
Pritam Kotal discussed the team’s defense, emphasizing the importance of focus and cohesion, saying, “The defense feels strong, and we need to maintain that focus both during training and off the field. We’ve played 2-3 friendly matches together, and we’re more confident. Starting the season well is our target.”
Malayali players’ bond and unity: A strength for KBFC
Vibin Mohanan touched on the presence of Malayali players in the squad, highlighting the strong bond among them, saying, “We have a special spirit playing for our home team. Malayali players understand the fans better, and we help each other, especially Rahul KP, who has been instrumental in my improvement.”
Frank Dauwen analyzes the competition
When asked about which team appears stronger this season, Assistant Coach Frank Dauwen acknowledged the fierce competition. He stated, “It’s difficult to answer. Teams like Mohun Bagan Super Giant, Mumbai City FC, Bengaluru FC, FC Goa, and Odisha FC have made good transfers. The competition is getting tougher this season.”
With a mix of experienced players and promising talent, the Kerala Blasters are geared up for a thrilling ISL season, and the fans can’t wait to see their team in action once again.