Kerala blasters-1658760055483
Kerala Blasters star Argentine striker Luna celebrates during the last season. Image Credit: Courtesy: Kerala Blasters Twitter

Dubai: Kerala Blasters FC are all set to begin their pre-season preparations ahead of the 2022-2023 Indian Super League (ISL) season. The club will start its pre-season training in Kochi on August 1 and will travel to UAE by mid-August for friendly matches against UAE’s top clubs, Al Nasr SC, Dibba FC and Hatta Club. The squad, under Head Coach Ivan Vukomanovic, will undergo a 12-day training at the Al Nasr Cultural and Sport Club. The pre-season tour is being facilitated by H16 Sports.

The first pre-season friendly for the Blasters will be against Al Nasr on August 20 at Al Maktoum Stadium in Dubai. On August 25, they will face Dibba FC at Dibba Al Fujairah Stadium and the final match is scheduled on August 28 against Hatta Sports Club at Hamdan Bin Rashid Stadium. All three matches will be ticketed.

Passionate fan-based

The UAE is like a second home for Kerala Blasters FC owing to the huge number of fans that they have in the region. The final match of the 2021-2022 ISL Season between Kerala Blasters FC and Hyderabad FC was also screened at the Dubai Expo 2020 with over 10,000 people in attendance. The club look at the pre-season matches as an opportunity to engage their passionate fan-base in the UAE.

“Our goal has always been to grow the great sport of football and we are happy to collaborate with Kerala Blasters Football Club. We extend a warm welcome to them for their pre-season tour in UAE. This event will bring together a few of the greatest clubs and players to compete in the pre-season, thereby opening a new chapter for Indo-Arab football matches by clubs, training and ensuring world-class competition and facilities while connecting to a vast fans audience,” said Chairman of H16 Sports Hassan Ali Ibrahim Al Balooshi.

“There were varied venues for pre-season abroad, however, we chose UAE for various reasons. The initial plan of the club was a camp for less than two weeks with three friendly matches, which will be executed as well in this pre-season. I’m delighted that all our UAE fans can come and be part of us at the stadium. This pre-season match is crucial for the club and all our supporters and this will assist us to test our squads’ limits as well,” said Kerala Blasters FC Sporting Director, Karolis Skinkys.