Having won the I-league in their inaugural season and finishing runners up the following season , Bengaluru FC would want to be consistent with their performance . Head coach Ashley Westwood looks confident as the Blues kickoff their campaign in I League . The squad this season have eight new signings as Westwood feel his side is even more stronger and more balanced than before.“We’ve managed to work fairly consistently over the last four weeks. We’ve got some new boys in and it’s always nice to have new faces to push the ones that are here who are getting a little comfortable. We’re stronger and we’ve got a nice balance about us with the new players who have the potential to go straight into the starting XI,”
Bengaluru will be strengthen with the likes of Alwyn George, Kim Song Yong, Len Doungel, and Amrinder Singh, Westwood said his side were well conditioned, which will be the focus ahead of the upcoming I-League season.” “It’s just a case of how you prepare and recover. The work we did before the Indian Super League has stood the players in good shape. We did a lot of conditioning before they went and not one Bengaluru FC player got injured in the ISL, which I don’t think many clubs can say. We prepared them well for the ISL and we’ll prepare them well for the I-League,” he added.
Asked about how this season is different from the last two, the gaffer mentioned about how competition for places has increased. ““In year one we only used 13 or 14 players, last season we used 16 or 17. Now we’ve got 23 outfield players of which most of them have got a real chance of being in the first eleven which makes us a bit stronger and a bit more competitive”.
Captain Sunil Chhetri who recently won the SAFF Cup with the National Team also feel the Blues side looked stronger than ever. ““The side looks strong this year and so many new players have come in who can go straight into the starting XI. Robin Singh’s injury is a big blow to us, but it only means that somebody else has the chance to step up in his absence.”
Bengaluru would have to heavily rely on their new custodian Amrinder singh. Amrinder was absolutely brilliant for the ISL outfit Atletico de Kolkata.
Bengaluru also roped in versatile young midfielder Alwyn George. A product of Tata Football Academy Alwyn played for Pailan Arrows before being signed by Dempo who were relegated last season. With Robin Singh set to miss the whole season the onus will be on len Doungel who signed a two year contract with the club.
Bengaluru FC will take on Salgaocar FC in their first match in I League at the Tilak Maidan, in Goa on Saturday .