After navigating a successful 2017-18 campaign, Sergio Lobera will be aiming to go a step further this year and land the Goan outfit’s maiden ISL trophy. In order to get his team up to speed, the Gaurs will be travelling to Murcia, Spain on August 22nd 2018 for a run of pre-season games before the start of the fifth edition of the Hero Indian Super League. Having retained a number of key players from their last campaign, Lobera has added plenty of new faces to the squad and will hope his team settles together during their trip to La Manga
The 24-man squad, which will include 4 players from developmental team, will travel to Murcia to train and play five friendlies at the La Manga Club, which boasts of world-class facilities including eight natural grass FIFA international standard pitches, and a match pitch that can accommodate up to 800 spectators. In addition, there is also a 5-a-side pitch, a High Performance Sports centre and a fitness centre at the training facility.
“I think that all of the players that went to La Manga last year noticed that it was an ideal place to prepare for a new season,” said head coach, Sergio Lobera. “It is a location that has been chosen by world class teams like Manchester United, Chelsea and many national teams as well”
Playing against quality opposition will help the squad gel together and improve their chemistry on field. Besides, utilizing the wealth of facilities available there will certainly help the team in their quest for the ISL crown. The Gaurs have five potential friendlies lined up against the likes of FC Cartagena, UCAM Murcia CF and former La Liga side Real Murcia before returning to Goa on September 17th, 2018. “There are still two teams pending to confirm, however, the ones we are playing against are very strong teams that will be fighting to gain promotion,” quipped Lobera.
The squad will be put through their paces with high-intensity training sessions and competitive matches; however, Lobera believes the training camp will be more of a learning experience for his side. “In pre-season, the results don’t matter. The focus is to ensure all players get to the required fitness level and the new players get accustomed to our style of play. We need to make sure they are prepared and ready for the new season while also utilizing this as a period of bonding for the team.”
FC Goa Media Team