Mumbai: Mumbai City FC are proceeding to Dubai tonight for a fortnight-long preparatory camp in the UAE for the upcoming Season 2 of the Indian Super League (ISL) football tournament.
But the squad would be, for the major portion of the UAE stay, without a few India players who are already in the national camp, which started yesterday at Pune.
“Sunil Chhetri, Subrata Paul, Lalchhuanmawia Fanai and Brandon Fernandes are in the India camp in Pune. Two other players, Debate Majumder and Lalrindika Ralte who are right now Mohun Bagan and East Bengal players on loan to Mumbai City FC, would be joining on September 7 as per their contract,” said a team official today.
“Chhetri and the other three would be coming on 9th of September after the India match (World Cup qualifiers in Bengaluru on September 8),” he added.
The squad is set to be in Dubai till September 12, training and also playing a few practice games there, before returning to India.
Nicolas Anelka, the former France international, is the team’s marquee player-cum-manager, a new role he has assumed this season and the team has also retained Brazilian midfielder Andre Moritz, who impressed a lot in Season 1.
The other overseas signees are midfielders Juan Nunez (Spain), Sony Norde (Haiti), Darren O’Dea (Ireland), Salim Benachour (Tunisia), Cristian Bustos (Spain), frontliner Fredric Piquoinne (France) and defenders Franz Bertin (Haiti) and Pavel Cmovs (Czech Republic), who, too, figured in the team in the inaugural season last year.
Mumbai take on their counterparts from across the Sahyadris, FC Pune City, in the Maharashtra ISL Derby in an away game at the Balewadi Stadium on October 5 to kick off their campaign.