The southerners also began their pre-season training on Thursday.
Indian Super League outfit Kerala Blasters have begun pre-season training in Goa from the October 8 under assistant coach Ishfaq Ahmed. In adherence to all league guidelines and taking necessary prerequisites of this pandemic period, the Kerala Blasters players will be training at the Duler Stadium in Mapusa post quarantine, for a few days, before switching to the ground at Peddem Sports Complex, the official training venue of the club for the 2020-21 season.
After a season to forget in 2019-20, Kerala Blasters have brought in many replacements to their existing squad. While they appointed Mohun Bagan’s I-League title winning coach Kibu Vicuna as the new head coach, they had also roped in a sporting director in Karolis Skinkys.
Following the last season, ace goalscorer Bartholomew Ogbeche left the club, who has been replaced by former Celtic and Norwich City striker Gary Hooper. Apart from Hooper, the southerners have also brought in Facundo Pereyra and Vicente Gomez Umpierrez who will be integral to the plans of Kibu Vicuna.
Kerala Blasters have also signed several talented domestic players, who has began their training in Goa from Thursday. Nishu Kumar and Prabhsukhan Singh Gill joined from rivals Bengaluru FC, Lalthathanga Khawlhring was roped in from NorthEast United, Naorem Mahesh Singh and Kenstar Kharshong have join from Shillong Lajong and will be integral to the Kerala Blasters squad in the coming season.
The current pre-season squad as declared by the club includes the following players:
GOALKEEPERS: Albino Gomes, Prabhsukhan Singh Gill, Bilal Husain Khan, Muheet Shabir.
DEFENDERS: Denechandra Meitei, Jessel Carneiro, Nishu Kumar, Lalruatthara, Abdul Hakku, Sandeep Singh, Kenstar Kharshong
MIDFIELDERS: Sahal Abdul Samad, Jeakson Singh, Rohit Kumar, Arjun Jayaraj, Lalthathanga Khawlhring, Ayush Adhikari, Gotimayum Muktasana, Givson Singh Moirangthem, Rahul KP, Seityasen Singh, Prasanth K, Ritwik Das, Nongdamba Naorem, Sergio Cidoncha, Facundo Pereyra, Vicente Gomez Umpierrez.
FORWARDS: Shaiborlang Kharpan, Naorem Mahesh Singh, Gary Hooper
The absentee overseas players will soon be joining the team at Goa in the coming weeks. The club’s newly announced squad also includes seven young starlets from their reserve team, who will be given a chance to prove their mettle to be a part of the final squad representing Kerala Blasters in the 2020-21 season.
The full-fledged training of the new squad will commence with the arrival of the foreign contingent and the complete coaching staff to India.