Bengaluru FC will kickstart their Durand Cup campaign with their match against Kerala Blasters. The Blues will field a team that is a mixture of some of their main team players and a bunch of youngsters. Head coach Naushad Moosa feels that this is a part of the club’s ongoing player development process.
The Blues are placed in Group D alongside Indian Navy, Delhi FC and Kerala Blasters. Bengaluru FC will be the latest team to start their campaign as all other sides have already played their first games.
Speaking about the team’s preparation in accordance with the AFC Cup which happened in Maldives, Moosa said, ” “Everything is good. We had a long pre-season. But, what we’ve done is get a squad that’s not been part of the team for long. You’ll find that we have U-18 graduates under the reserve squad now and few reserve team players who Marco (Pezzaiuoli) has brought into the senior team, who he feels have good future potential,” Naushad Moosa began.
“For instance, players like Sivasakthi (Narayanan), Damait (Damaitphang Lyngdoh) and then Thoi (Singh). These are some good players you want to see now. There’s Bhutia (Namgyal) and Biswa (Darjee) as well. We want to give all these players an opportunity. It’s a big tournament for them and good for us to understand how they perform under pressure; in such a big competition. It also helps us as coaches alongside them to see where they stand as far as their performance is concerned,” he added.
Moos also pointed out the need for more matches in a calendar year in Indian football. He feels that only 18-20 matches won’t be enough for players to develop their game. Hence tournaments like Durand Cup and others should be reinstated.
“I feel we as a country need to give more matches to the players. In the ISL as well, we get very few games; just 18-20. It is very important for the players, including the national team, when you play 40-50 games in a year. Within 18 games, I can’t give much playing time. Now that there’s Durand, I can give them (players) more playing time. Back then, we had the local league, other tournaments as well as the then national league. So, I guess we can plan and give more matches even now. It’s also very important that clubs take initiative and bring back these tournaments. Why not have more matches and tournaments even now?” Naushad Moosa elaborated.