Bengaluru: Having begun their Indian Super League journey during the draft on Sunday, Bengaluru FC’s Chief Technical Officer Mandar Tamhane revealed that their plan to go for positions rather than names served them well, albeit losing out on some of the crowd favourites, heading into the next season.
“Overall, we are very happy. It went as per plans. We had a plan and that was to go for position rather than names. I think we have done well to strengthen the squad as the coach wanted. So we are happy with what we have done and we believe we can have a good season,” said Tamhane.
“In a draft, your decision making has to be about the position you want to strengthen and give options. Like Rahul Beke gives us a lot of options. He is not just a right back. He can play right and left sided centre back, left back and in midfield. This is the kind of thought process we used,” he explained.
“There is always a feeling that we would have loved to have Eugene (Eugeneson Lyngdoh) and Rino (Anto) and others but it wasn’t possible because of the rules of the draft. So we needed to have what was possible,” added the BFC CTO.
Despite missing out on a handful of their old hands, the Federation Cup champions did manage to get five of their former players back in the draft. Add to that the seven players from last season already part of the squad, Tamhane revealed that having a core that knows that club is important to the JSW-owned side.
“That was very important. Now the total squad we have, including Daniel (Lalhlimpuia) and three other foreigners that are going to come, will be around 26. We have retained 45-47%. So given that we weren’t supposed to keep the players, I think that’s a huge group,” he opined.
“From our side, it was important that, since we have the same coach, we have players who understand the philosophy. Keeping in mind we have an AFC Cup match (against 4.25 SC) in a month’s time, it was important to have players in certain positions which we give priority to,” he revealed.
BFC to train at Spain
A new-look Bengaluru FC side will kick off their pre-season training this week in the city before heading to Spain early next month for a 10-day camp.
The Blues will train at the state-of-the-art facilities at Pinatar Arena in Murcia. Having finalised their squad on Sunday at the ISL Draft, Bengaluru FC Head Coach Albert Roca will now have an eye on the crucial AFC Cup inter-zonal semi-final against North Korean side April 25 SC as he prepares his squad for the first leg at home on August 23.
“The arena will provide us with everything we need to get up and running as fast as possible. Among all the other ISL teams, we’ll be in action first in the AFC Cup and it’s important that we utilise this time well so that our team settles in quickly.
While we have managed to retain the core of our team, there are a lot of new signings which means that we need to put in that extra effort in pre-season to gel as a unit,” explained Roca....