Kerala Blasters have become the latest side in the Indian Super League (ISL) to begin training ahead of the 2020-21 season. Several players, including a few new signings, have assembled as the Blasters look to improve on their performance from the previous season.
The 2019-20 season was a rather forgettable one for the Kerala Blasters. Following a bright start to the campaign with a 2-1 win over ATK, they lost their way and managed only four wins in the entire campaign. They managed to draw seven games and lost the remaining seven. The team could only finish a lowly 7th on the league table.
The problems for the Blasters were compounded when they lost their defensive stalwart Sandesh Jhingan. The Indian defender had also missed a significant portion of the previous season courtesy an injury. Jhingan later went on to sign a huge contract with new entrants ATK Mohun Bagan.
The Kerala-based outfit has also been busy in the transfer market. They first signed Nishu Kumar from Bengaluru FC. The 23-year old was the highest-paid ISL footballer for a few months until Jhingan signed with ATK Mohun Bagan.
The other arrivals include former La Liga midfielder Vicente Gomez and Argentine attacking-midfielder Facundo Pereyra. The likes of Sahal Abdul Samad, rising star Rahul KP, and Seityasen Singh have also joined the pre-season training camp. Their training began under the watchful eyes of assistant coach Ishfaq Ahmed in the Duler Stadium in Mapusa.
Hooper joins Kerala Blasters pre-season
The most notable signing made by the Kerala Blasters has been that of Englishman Gary Hooper. The 32-year old was signed from Australian club Wellington Phoenix. Hooper had previously won the Scottish League with Celtic in back-to-back seasons before becoming a transfer target of English c.
He played in England with the Premier league side Norwich City and Championship side Sheffield Wednesday before making the move to Australia. Needless to say, there will be a mountain of expectations on Hooper ahead of the season.Published 09 Oct 2020, 00:52 IST