Chennai: Chennaiyin FC will hold a month-long pre-season camp in Perugia, Italy to prepare for the 2015 Hero Indian Super League football tournament, the franchise said today.
Perugia is located 164km north of Italy's capital Rome and Chennaiyin FC's base will be about 5km from the town centre of Perugia. Chennaiyin FC will be training at Ellera, Corciano Town Council, Perugia.
The domestic players of Chennaiyin FC will leave from India for Italy in the early hours of August 22, while the foreign recruits will be assembling in Perugia from their respective countries. The training is expected to start from August 23.
Chennaiyin FC will be playing at least four friendly games during their stay in Italy and the club is in talks with various lower division teams of Italy for the same.
Following the month-long camp in Perugia, the squad will arrive in Chennai on September 21 ahead of their ISL opener against Atletico de Kolkata at the Jawaharlal Nehru Stadium in Chennai on October 3.
Speaking on the upcoming tour, Chennaiyin FC CEO Ashish Shah said: "Last year we didn't have much time to prepare for the inaugural season of the ISL as our franchise was the last to join the league. As soon as the 2014 ISL ended, we were determined to have a full-fledged pre-season camp this time. Following discussions with our manager Marco Materazzi and his technical staff and the owners, we were convinced that it was important to be in an environment where we not only get top-class facilities to train but also play preparatory matches against strong opposition.
"Perugia in Italy perfectly fitted that requirement and we are now all looking forward to the start of the pre-season. It will be a great learning experience for our Indian boys as many of them will be getting the chance to train and play in Europe for the very first time."
Chennaiyin FC manager Marco Materazzi added: "Pre-season is very important for the success of any football team in the world. Last year due to unavoidable circumstances we didn't get too much time to prepare for the ISL. Although the players still made me and the whole franchise proud with their efforts and performances, eventually everyone could see that we had too many injuries.
"So a full pre-season will make a massive difference to our physical, tactical and mental preparation ahead of the new season. The training facilities, environment and quality of opposition in Perugia will help us immensely in getting ready for the upcoming ISL campaign."