Delighted to be picked by Chennaiyin FC — Thoi Singh

The games, irrespective of the results, have helped us improve our understanding on the pitch, says Thoi Singh.

Marco Materazzi (left), player-manager of the Chennaiyin FC, with new signings, Thoi Singh (centre) and Karanjit Singh.   -  VIVEK BENDRE

It has been more than two months since the ISL auction. I still remember the night before when I didn’t know which team I would play for. There was both excitement and nervousness. For me, in fact for all the players, the final price was irrelevant. We just wanted to know which team would pick us. I was delighted to be picked up by one of the best franchises from the first season, Chennaiyin FC.

Last year I had a pre-season tour with Bengaluru FC in China. That was a good experience but the pre-season in Italy has been incredible. The facilities both in terms of training and off the pitch were top-class. I am thankful to Chennaiyin FC for giving us, especially the Indian players, the best possible preparation. In the first week, the emphasis was mainly on getting our fitness levels up. That is something I relish a lot. Gradually we moved to the more technical and tactical aspects. The games, irrespective of the results, have helped us improve our understanding on the pitch.

The usual routine was double sessions for five days in the week and the weekends off.

It was an absolute pleasure training under Marco Materazzi. We players are still getting to know each other, both on and off the field.

But overall the pre-season has been very fruitful.

Many of us Indian players were getting these top facilities and quality opposition to face in pre-season for the very first time. It has definitely been an experience of a lifetime.

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