With the sun setting on the unprecedented, record-breaking 2022-23 season, Mumbai City FC are gearing up for new beginnings. The Islanders’ First Team squad is currently in Bangkok, Thailand for their pre-season training camp which will undoubtedly serve as a key part of their preparation for the 2023-24 campaign.
A little over a week ago, Mumbai City FC also unveiled the club’s new crest that showcased the Islanders’ new identity and highlighted their deep association with the city of Mumbai. The entire First Team squad, along with Des Buckingham were present at the historic unveiling in Mumbai before setting off to Bangkok.
The Islanders’ head coach expressed his excitement on the development, “I like what the new crest represents, it recognises where we come from. It also links into what we want to be now and in the future. It’s not just a club crest - it represents Mumbai, the fans, the region and a club that is fully embedded into the CFG family.”, Buckingham said.
Now well into their pre-season camp at the Alpine Football Camp in Bangkok, The Islanders are warming up for what will be a crucial and rigorous 2023-24 season and the 38-year-old Englishman is pleased with the start his squad has made.
“We have had two very good blocks of training. The way the players have reported back and the work they have clearly done in the off season has put us in a very strong position. After what we did last year, it was important that we continue the success and the way the players prepare and look after themselves is so important to the start of that journey again. I am very pleased with the facilities we have here that are going to allow us to prepare as well as we can,” said Buckingham.
With the infusion of a few new signings to the Islanders’ set up, Des Buckingham reiterated on the importance of pre-season preparations. “It may not look like we have made a lot of signings but when I look at the contracts that we have extended, if I was at another club, all nine players would be considered big signings. To add to this, we have brought in Akash, Tiri and Yoëll and two young boys in Nathan and Franklin, so I feel we have made important additions to the squad”, he opined.
“It’s important we recruit good players of course, but we also make sure we recruit good people. The environment that we’ve built here and the success we’ve had is down to the group, including the support staff. They (the new players) have adapted and fit in very well so far. They’ve already shown good and positive things in 5-6 sessions so far and I’m quite excited about what they will add to allow us to continue getting better,” added the Islanders’ head coach.
Mumbai City FC will kick off the 2023-24 season with the iconic Durand Cup. After a stellar run in last year’s edition ended with the Islanders’ finishing as runners-up, Des Buckingham’s side will be eager to go a step further. The Islanders will begin their 2023 Durand Cup campaign with their Group B opener against Mohammedan SC on August 5 at the Kishore Bharati Krirangan in Kolkata.