Mumbai City FC Boss Des Buckingham Eyeing Durand Cup Success to Start Longer Indian Football Season


Mumbai City FC head coach Des Buckingham is already charting out his plans for the upcomming ‘long’ Indian football season. MCFC will set up a pre-season training camp in Dubai from July 25 with it’s Indian contingent leaving on Sunday, followed by their international stars landing soon. The Islanders are slated to be there until August 12 before coming to Kolkata for the Durand Cup.

After winning the Indian Super League double, Mumbai City FC had a disappointing season last year but gave account of Indian football at the AFC Champions League.

This season, Mumbai City FC will be contesting in the Durand Cup and possibly Super Cup, if it is held, along with the Indian Super League.

“I think a longer season is great for the league,” Des Buckingham said in press interaction on Saturday.

“That’s what we want, the players want and this is great from the development point of view,” he added.

! ✈️#TheIslanders are headed to the UAE as we kick off our pre-season camp in Jebel Ali, Dubai #IslandersInDubai #MCFCPreSeason #MumbaiCity #AamchiCity pic.twitter.com/YZXdsWIIqO

— Mumbai City FC (@MumbaiCityFC) July 24, 2022

Preparation will be crucial said the Mumbai City FC boss, given that they are eying a strong run in the oldest football tournament in Asia.

“Once all our players reach Dubai, we’ll try to get all our players match-fit so we’re prepared when we travel for the Durand Cup. It’s a tournament we’re eagerly looking forward to as we will be taking our entire first team. We’ll use those games to be as successful as we can within that competition,” Buckingham said.

“It’s the oldest competition in India and we look forward to playing in front of the fans once again. The cup will give us an opportunity to try a few things out, be successful in the competition and also be ready for next season,” he added.

Mumbai City have been placed in Group B, along with Kolkata agianst East Bengal and ATK Mohun Bagan and will start their campaign against the Indian Navy on August 18.

And to aid in their conquests in multiple tournaments this season. MCFC have roped in Alberto Noguera from FC Goa, Greg Stewart from Jamshedpur FC and Jorge Pereyra Diaz from Kerala Blasters as well as Rostyn Griffiths from sister club Melbourne City FC of the City Football Group.

“I’m very happy with the recruitment we have gone through during the off-season. We have been able to bring the league’s best player in Greg Stewart to our team. Noguera has consistently shown his quality for FC Goa for the past few seasons. Diaz will add to our frontline and complement what we have already. Then Rostyn Griffiths, who I have worked with previously at Melbourne City, will come and give us some defensive stability as well,” Des Buckingham said.

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