First-team assistant coach Naushad Moosa and the rest of the Indian staff have been handling the sessions at present.

As many as 29 Bengaluru FC players have begun their pre-season training at the club’s Academy facility at the Inspire Institute of Sport, in Bellary, the club announced on Thursday. Having made their way to the North Karnataka district after three rounds of testing in Bangalore and one in Bellary, the team and staff quarantined for four days before beginning their training on Thursday.

With the club’s foreign contingent still awaiting their Visas, first-team Indian Assistant Coach Naushad Moosa and the rest of the Indian staff have been handling the sessions, while in contact with Head Coach Carles Cuadrat and the rest of the technical staff, who are in Spain.

Bengaluru FC new signing Pratik Chaudhari was also part of the training session on Thursday

“We would have liked to begin our pre-season with a complete team – that includes foreign staff and players, but given the situation with visas and travel, this was a hurdle we saw coming and had planned for it in advance. This is Naushad Moosa’s fourth season with the club and that’s a big advantage. The moment we received an indication from the League about the season beginning in the third week of November, we went about planning to ensure our pre-season begins on time,” said club CEO Mandar Tamhane.

While a host of the club’s new signings having joined the squad in Bellary, the pre-season is also being used as a chance to assess as many as nine youngsters who have travelled as part of the club’s reserves setup.

“What we are in the middle of is not the most ideal situation, but it is one we have little control over. However, our work at the club doesn’t stop, and we have been in touch with the players and the coaches on what we expect from them. I have been in touch with the management with regard to scouting for players, arranging pre-season games and other aspects. Importantly, we are working every day to ensure that we can join the team as soon as possible,” said Head Coach Carles Cuadrat.

With the Indian Super League season set to kick off in November, the Blues expect a three-week preseason training stint in the state-of-the-art Inspire Institute of Sport campus, ahead of a trip to Goa, where their home matches will be played out of the Nehru Stadium, in Fatorda.

“As players, we’ve been impatient and excited to train together and you can feel the energy among the boys in Bellary. We’ve all been training independently for too long now and were waiting to begin our pre-season. I cannot wait for the rest of the boys and the coaching staff to join us soon,” said goalkeeper Gurpreet Singh Sandhu.

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