Indian club Mumbai City FC are in Dubai for an extended pre-season training camp, setting up base in Jebel Ali.
The club, which features in the top-tier Indian Super League, landed in the UAE on July 24 and started training soon after. The 19-day training cap will run until 12 August.
Managed by Des Buckingham, Mumbai City ended the 2021-22 season by creating history at the 2022 AFC Champions League as they became the first Indian club to win a game in Asia’s premier club competition.
The team will now be hoping to take that form into the new season. Their focus will be on getting ready for the 131st Durand Cup, set to begin on August 16, which will mark the start of the new domestic football season in India. The tournament is Asia’s oldest football competition.
“I am extremely proud and happy with how we started and finished last season, especially in the AFC Champions League,” Buckingham said.
“To showcase our attacking style of play was enjoyable to all associated with the club and showed that Indian football can compete and win at the highest level of club football in Asia.
“As we enter the new season we will look to continue the momentum from this historic campaign as we start our pre-season in Dubai.
“We have a very young squad here at Mumbai City – the average age of our domestic contingent is just 23 and have added some further quality and experience in the off season.
“We want to give our squad a platform and an environment that is conducive to their growth and development to prepare the whole team as well as possible for what will be an exciting season starting with the Durand Cup in August.”
“I understand the league a lot better in comparison from last season, so there’s a lot of learning we’ll take from that, which will help us in the next season,” he added.
“But it’s the working relationship with the players and spending the eight months that we did together and we saw a good example of what happens when we played the Champions League.
“It helps the players understand how we want to play and what we want to do. It also enables us to have a very solid base from the pre-season point of view, which is why I am really excited about the coming year.”