THIRUVANANTHAPURAM: It is a sight that the capital city has been warming up for long - that of a football rolling on the greens of the Greenfield International Stadium, Kariavattom. And as it turns out, it is not going to be one to leave them disappointed.
It is none other than Kerala Blasters Football Club, the biggest sports team in the state at present, that will kick the first ball in the newly built sports arena during their pre-season training camp ahead of the second edition of the Indian Super League (ISL).
Blasters are the only side to have not travelled abroad for their pre-season training and has instead opted to base their camp at Thriuvananthapuram. This, in turn, has presented the city dwellers with an opportunity to catch a first glimpse of the club play football in their backyard.
Ahead of the inaugural ISL, Blasters had trained at Corporation Stadium in Thrissur before the start of the season while also conducting a short camp at Payyanad Stadium, Manjeri, in the football crazy district of Malappuram during the course of the season.
The camp is expected to commence on Friday under the guidance of former England international footballer Peter Taylor and will witness the team’s domestic and international players sweat it out to reach the physical and technical standards for the new season.
“Everything is put in place for the training to begin including the playing surface complete with grass turf,” said an official from the Kariavattom Sports Facilities Limited that operates the stadium.
“We are waiting for the official communication from the Blasters regarding the starting date of the training camp,” the official said.
However, the official said that there will be restriction for spectators during the month-long training camp.
“From what we have heard, the training is going to be very secretive in nature and most of the proceedings will not be open to the general public,” the official said. But there might still be chances for the fans to take a look at the players who will be representing the team during the new season.
Blasters are to open their campaign in the second season of the ISL against NorthEast United FC on October 6 at Jawaharlal Nehru International Stadium Kochi before playing Mumbai City FC on October 10 at the same venue.