Kolkata, Aug 22 IANS | 3 months ago

Gearing up for the inaugural Indian Super League (ISL), city-based Atletico de Kolkata players will be training in Segovia, Spain where they are slated to play four practice matches against local Spanish teams, team officials announced here Friday.

The camp begins Aug 26 at the Los Angeles De San Rafael training ground which is at an altitude of 1,240 metres above sea level.

Making the announcement, head coach Antonio Lopez Habas said the training will begin with the 14 domestic recruits while international players are expected to join at a later stage.

With the Indian training methods vastly different from that of the European style, team trainer Miguel Martinez said it would be a challenge to introduce the "Atletico methodology" of training to the Indian players.

"The Indian style is vastly different from the way teams train in Europe. Most of our international players are aware of the methods that we use, but it will be a challenge to introduce the Atletico methodology to the domestic players," said Martinez.

Asserting that the team has a heady mix of experienced national and international players, Habas said his initial objective was to get the players to gel together.

"Training at a higher altitude would put the abilities of players under scrutiny and will benefit them in the long run. My first objective is to get the players to gel and get the team as competitive as possible," Habas told mediapersons here.

With the only franchise to have artificial turf on its home ground, Habas claimed it will not be challenge for his players but for the opponents.

"Remember, it is our home ground, so the challenge is for our opponents," said Habas to media queries about how the players would cope to playing on the synthetic turf at the Salt Lake Stadium.

Refusing to compare the ISL with the Indian Premier League (IPL), team co-owner Harsh Neotia hoped the initiative helped in nurturing football in the country.

"The ISL kicks off Oct 12 with Atletico de Kolkata playing the inaugural match against Mumbai in Kolkata. We are looking forward to an exciting period in football," said Neotia.

(Posted on 22-08-2014)

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