Chennaiyin FC gears up for pre-season ahead of ISL 2017

The 2015 ISL Champion is looking at Thailand, Malaysia and Oman as possible venues.

The pre-season preparations are expected to start in Chennai in the first week of October following which the 2015 ISL champion is likely to change base.   -  K Murali Kumar

After having its last two pre-season preparations in Italy under Italian manager Marco Materazzi, Chennaiyin Football Club is set to remain in Asia for its conditioning camp ahead of ISL 2017.

Chennaiyin is looking at Thailand, Malaysia and Oman as possible venues.  The pre-season preparations are expected to start at home in the first week of October following which the 2015 ISL champion is likely to change base.

The Chennai-based team was the last franchise to enter the ISL in 2014 and thus had to train in Bangalore. In season two, with more time to prepare and plan, Chennaiyin did a four week pre-season in Perugia, Italy, the hometown of coach Materazzi.

However, under the watch of English coach John Gregory, the side is likely to head to a destination within Asia itself. “The longer season demands a longer pre-season and in conditions similar to India. The team also needs to play against quality opposition and that is always a challenge in Europe as usually teams from the top three tiers are unavailable for matches," said a source close to the development.

ISL will commence from November to March and there is the additional prospect of a knock-out Cup competition (the tournament is likely to pit a few I-League and ISL club teams) after that, hence like most teams, the overall pre-season period for Chennaiyin will be six weeks compared to four in previous seasons.

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