KOCHI: A new chapter will begin for Kerala Blasters under new coach Ivan Vukomanovic as preparations for the new season is well and truly underway and the club will play their first friendly under the Serbian on August 20.
The Indian Super League side will take on I-League second division team Kerala United FC who are coached by veteran tactician Bino George.
The team had recently started their pre-season training at the Panampilly ground in Kochi adhering to the Covid-19 pandemic protocols.
All the KBFC players have been in a bio-bubble after they cleared their quarantine period, health check-ups and received their vaccine doses according to the club.
The Blasters will play Kerala United once again on August 27 and will go on to face Jammu and Kashmir Bank FC on September 3.
"We are excited to get on the ground and showcase our talented players in the land of such enthusiastic football fans," said Vukomanovic, who joined up with the squad and has been conducting the team's training sessions.
All eyes will be on how the team plays after the disappointments of the last few seasons and the pre-season match can be viewed on the official YouTube channel of the Kerala Blasters.
The squad assembled in Kochi primarily comprises their Indian contingent with new signings Harmanjot Khabra, Sanjeev Stalin and Vincy Barretto expected to play some part in the pre-season matches.
Centre-back Enes Sipovic and attacking midfielder Adrian Luna are the two foreign players signed so far by the club, but it is doubtful whether they will feature in these friendlies.
Compared to last season, where clubs had a truncated pre-season in Goa, Blasters are hoping to have better preparations this time for the league set to begin in November.
"We are excited to train this pre-season in God’s own country. All of us are thrilled and well-set to let the flame rise. We look forward to an enthusiastic and rigorous training this season. We are also building the opportunities for organizing the best team for ISL 2021-22," he said.