Chennai City FC players return home fitter from Finland

Chennai City FC’s Edwin Sydney Vanspaul, Michael Soosairaj and A. Beautin were put through a rigorous fitness regime during a month-long training stint in Finland.

The Chennai City FC trio during a training session in Oulu.   -  Special Arrangement

Chennai City FC’s Edwin Sydney Vanspaul, Michael Soosairaj and A. Beautin, who were on a month-long training stint in Finland, returned home on Wednesday.

Visibly impressed with the facilities there, Edwin said: “The set-up is more professional there and the training is more structured with a lot of emphasis on fitness and strength training.”

The trio's trip to Oulu was a part of the larger agreement that Chennai City FC has entered with Finnish second-tier side, Hercules JS for football development.

Working with the club's Technical Director, Daniel Amokachi, who played for Premier League side Everton and for Nigeria in two World Cup finals, the Indian players were put through a rigorous fitness regime. "They conducted extensive medical tests. And then we worked on our core strength and there has been a marked improvement on our fitness level. The training was much more intense compared to what we have seen in India," Edwin said.

The players have been asked to follow a strict workout schedule for the year with coaches from Hercules monitoring their progress on a weekly basis.

With the I-League set to kick off only post the under-17 World Cup in October, Beautin feels an extended stay would have benefited them more. The players, earlier scheduled for a three-month stint, had to settle for a shorter stay due to late arrival of their visas.

"Our fitness level was lower compared to the players there. Another month there would have helped us reach their level. Even Amokachi wanted us to stay longer," said Beautin.

Soosairaj, who along with Beautin scored in the final practice match against Hercules' first team, expressed similar sentiments. "They liked our performance in the last game we played," he said.

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