Athletico de Kolkata officials are confident that the players they have drafted into their franchise for season 1 of the Indian Super League, including the foreign recruits today, would be able to adjust to the synthetic turf at their home venue.
"Ours is the only ground which has artificial turf, so the players have to get used to it. The other teams' players too have to play on it only (in away games against Kolkata)," said Saharsh Parekh, whose father Utsav Parekh co-owns the franchise after the international player draft here today.
He also sounded pleased at the mix of the players they have got ahead of the October 12-December 20 IPL-style football league. "There were a few formations that the coach wanted and accordingly, we picked our players. It's all about creating a balance – young and experienced and then decided the players." The team today picked Borja Fernandez, Jofre Mateu González, José Miguel González Rey, Arnal Llibert Conde Carbó, Sylvain Monsoreau, Jakub Podaný and Apoula Edima Edel Bete from the 49-strong international player draft.
He emphasised that the team management would leave no stone unturned to ensure the players, who were predominantly Spanish, face no language problems. Parekh said that the team would start its preparations for the tournament in right earnest once they get back to Kolkata.
"Today we are going to Kolkata and have a meeting and decide as 40-45 days is the ideal time to start the pre-season preparations. We have a list of 22 players. Now once we go back and discuss and see whether the coach needs some more," he said. "Hopefully foreign layers would start the camp too depending on their visas," he added.