FC Goa begins training for ISL 2020-21; list of 12 new squad numbers released

FC Goa will represent India in the AFC Champions League.

The 7th season of Indian Super League (ISL) 2020-21, is all set to be held in the sunny state of Goa, 21st of November onwards. This league is slated to be hosted at 3 different sites across the state, like Jawaharlal Nehru Stadium (Fatorda), GMC Athletic Stadium (Bambolim) and Tilak Maidan Stadium (Vasco). FC Goa football club has started their preparations for the upcoming ISL season, where they will strive for the ISL League Winners' Shield. Additionally, FC Goa will represent India in the AFC Champions League.

Focus on regaining fitness

FC Goa is being trained by assistant coach Clifford Miranda and they have begun their pre-season training in full swing with the majority of the other groups. Two players, Ishan Pandita and Len Doungel, are currently undergoing their quarantine period as per the league protocols and are yet to join.

The initial days of training were dedicated to going through their paces with a focus on regaining fitness after a long off-season due to the pandemic, by the players of the club. Saturday onwards, the team has taken up doing double sessions, both at the training ground and the gym so that they can work relentlessly on their physical attributes, core and sharpness along with the ball drills.

12 new squad numbers added

FC Goa club has also released a total of 12 new squad numbers as they have restructured their squad, with several key players departing or retiring during the off-season.

Mid-fielder Lenny Rodrigues was quoted saying, "This has been a long and unusual off-season for us all. It's been tough for us all. Now to get back on to the ground and start doing the things that we love, I am thrilled."

He further added, "This pre-season will be crucial like every other. But the circumstances through which we have gone through and to come this far, this feels like an achievement. It's unusual this season because we are used to seeing fans throng the ground for our first practice session of the season. For now, I would like to tell them that we know that you have us in your hearts and we yearn as much as you to do this together." The initial days of the camp will see the Gaurs practice at the Ella Ground in Old Goa before switching to the club's practice facility in Salvador do Mundo.

The Sports Minister of Goa has assured that the ISL will be conducted as per the standard operating procedures and guidelines of the Union Ministry of Home Affairs, pertaining to the COVID-19 pandemic. It is being reported that the matches will be held without spectators on ground, just like the ongoing IPL season.

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