PANAJI: FC Goa have started preparations for the upcoming football season in which the team will defend its ISL League Winners' Shield in addition to representing India in the AFC Champions League.
The team, under assistant coach Clifford Miranda, have begun pre-season with the majority of the Indian contingent. Only Ishan Pandita and Len Doungel, who are currently undergoing their quarantine period as per the League protocols are yet to join.
The club said that the players went through their paces in the first few days, with the focus being on regaining their fitness after a long off-season owing to the current pandemic. Since Saturday, the team has been doing double sessions both at the training ground and the gym to work on their physical attributes, core and sharpness along with on the ball drills.
"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," said midfielder Lenny Rodrigues.
"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. IANS
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