Kerala Blasters & Bengaluru FC battle for third/fourth spots
(Courtesy : Getty)
Both clubs suffered defeats in their previous outings.
The reserve teams of Kerala Blasters FC and Bengaluru FC will take the field with pride with an aim to absorb the global football culture in their respective 3rd/4th place playoff matches in the Next Generation Cup, 2022 in the United Kingdom on Saturday.
Bengaluru FC face Nottingham Forest FC's academy team at the Leicester City FC Training Ground in Seagrave, Loughborough in Next Gen Midlands Group A. Kick-off is at 2:30 pm IST.
Half an hour later, at 3:00 pm IST, Kerala Blasters FC will lock horns with Crystal Palace FC's academy side at the Hotspur Way Training Ground in Enfield for 3rd place honours in Next Gen London Group B.
Kerala Blasters' reserve side coach Tomasz Tchorz revealed his side learned a lot from their 7-0 defeat to Tottenham Hotspur's academy team in the semi-final. The Polish coach accepted defeat was hard but insisted that the team is full of motivation to come back and perform better at the next edition of the Next Generation Cup - part of Football Sports Development Limited's (FSDL) partnership with the Premier League.
"The Next Generation Cup is a huge motivation for all of us to come back here again. I hope it will motivate us to work better and win the Reliance Foundation Development League next season. Surely, all of us want to come back here one day soon," said Tchorz.
"The biggest learning was how we could beat Tottenham Hotspur's possession on the field. It was a good experience to understand our capabilities and our level and how we can compete with teams like Tottenham. It has been a major source of motivation for us to go back to India, work better and work harder in order to achieve the level that allows us to compete better in the future here," the coach said reflecting on the first match.
"Here in England, we saw a lot of positive things to take back and implement back in India. Piece by piece we can create our training facility better and adjust according to our requirements. For example, we got an understanding of better training equipment and also for us, it is a good opportunity to see how the other teams work, how they use the gym, nutritionists, and other professionals that work with players and learn from that," he added on his and the team's experience in England, where they have been interacting with Premier League, West Ham United and Tottenham Hotspur's legends during their trip.
Looking forward to the match against Crystal Palace, Tchorz said, "We are ready. We want to show our fans and supporters that we can compete against Crystal Palace. We are motivated to do so. We already took the lesson from the last game and want to improve. I hope the game will be better and our performance will be of a higher level."
In his message to the Kerala Blasters' fans, he said, "It is a learning process. Our boys are doing their best. Please support us and be with us strongly and for sure we will do our best to improve and have the name of Kerala Blasters shining here abroad as well."
Meanwhile, Bengaluru FC were impressive in their semi-final match against Leicester City, where they scored three goals within seven minutes, including a brace by Damaitphang Lyngdoh. However, they lost 3-6 to the junior Foxes.
Coach Naushad Moosa hoped to implement some of the learnings against Nottingham Forest. "We learnt a lot and our boys were much better in the second half. Our aim is to take control of how we can improve and become better on the field," he said.
Both matches will be streamed LIVE on Indian Super League and the respective clubs' Facebook pages.
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