Saturday, July 14, 2018

Bengaluru start pre-season, Carles Cuadrat assumes role as head coach

Bengaluru FC kicked off the first leg of their 2018-19 pre-season with an open training session at the Bangalore Football Stadium, in Bengaluru, on Saturday. All seven new signings - Kean Lewis, Rino Anto, Sairuat Kima, Gursimrat Gill, Soram Poirei, Chencho Gyeltshen and Xisco Hernandez - along with retained players put in a shift under the watchful eyes of newly appointed Head Coach Carles Cuadrat. 

The Blues begin their competitive season with a two-legged AFC Cup Inter-Zone semifinal clash against Turkmenistan’s Altyn Asyr FK and Cuadrat says the challenge ahead is one he is looking forward to. 

“I’m very happy to be back. When you see the kind of supporters we have and the hard work that goes into the club, you feel proud to be part of it. We have a long preseason now and we will do our best to prepare ourselves for the Asian challenge. We’re aware about the quality of the opponents at this stage of the competition and that we need to be at our best going into the start of the campaign.” 

While Cuadrat took to the field as Head Coach for the first time ever, skipper Sunil Chhetri became the first player to enter a sixth season as part of the club.
“It’s a great feeling to be back on the pitch. We’ve had some time away from the game to refresh ourselves and everyone is now very enthusiastic for the new season. There are a few new signings in the squad and with more time at our hand this time around, we want to be better prepared for the knockout stage of the AFC Cup,” said Chhetri on the sidelines of the first session. 

The supporters turned up in numbers to create an atmosphere as the Blues introduced Assistant Coach Gerard Zaragoza, who has experience at Lekhwiya SC, Torpedo Kutaisi, Locomotive Tblisi and RCD Espanyol. Zaragoza’s most recent stint came as assistant to Michael Laudrup at Al-Rayyan SC in Qatar.  Joining Zaragoza as part of the newly appointed backroom staff was Goalkeeping Coach Cristian Patru, formerly of FC Dynamo Brest in the Belarusian Premier League. 

The Blues head to the BFC Residential Training facilities in Bellary on Monday, before travelling to Spain for the second leg of their pre-season.



Thursday, July 12, 2018

Journey of BTM FC

BDFA C Division league, which apparently is the bottom rung league does not catch everyone's fancy. A quick look inside and you will find a plethora of teams participating – 62 in total divided in 10 groups in the preliminary stages. 

The quality of the matches would leave a lot to be desired but the effort put in by the clubs is immense. All four teams who made to semis got promoted to B Division - Sunrise FC won the league defeating Goans in Final, other semifinalists being South India and BTM FC. 

Talking about enthusiasm with limited resources and continuous effort, BTM FC made it to the next grade this time. 

The club founded in 2009 by a bunch of amateur footballers from BTM Layout locality. BTM FC soon registered as a non-profit organization (NPO) and got accredited to BDFA. 

They made their debut in C Division in 2010 and could qualify to the knock-out round, which continued for the next five season. What's remarkable was that they kept persisting without giving up. Finally the same set of players crossed the hurdle in their sixth attempt and promoted to B Division. 

BTM FC squad 
Syed Taha (GK), Maqsood, Prithive (Captain), Aditya, Khalid, Nishanth, Sunith, Lohith, Prashanth, Shashidhar, Ashrith, Rajesh, Mandeep, Srinath, Yugal, Anup, Samvartha, Praveen, Manjunath, Mayur, Girish
Coach : Abiram Krishna


Thursday, June 14, 2018

Carles Cuadrat is the Bengaluru coach for this season

Bengaluru FC Media

Spaniard Carles Cuadrat has been named the new coach of Bengaluru FC in a one-year deal that keeps him with the Blues till the end of the 2018-19 season, the club announced on Thursday. An assistant coach at the club for two seasons, Cuadrat takes over the baton from Albert Roca who bid farewell to Bengaluru earlier in May.

“We are thrilled at announcing Carles as our new head coach. Alongside Albert, he played a massive part in changing the way we played football. Given the long association the two have shared, it’s reassuring to know that our philosophy remains intact. Carles has been a popular figure in the dressing room and with the fans and we couldn’t have asked for a better choice as we make an important transition,” said club CEO, Parth Jindal.

Cuadrat’s second season with the Blues had to be cut short after a surgery on his knee forced him to resign and return to Spain in December.  And the 49-year-old said he was delighted to be able to come back in a new role at the club.

“I am very happy to come back to the club, to the fantastic people who work for it and to the fans who I have always had a special place for, in my heart. I am also grateful to the management for reposing such faith in me. What Albert achieved at the club is special and it won’t be easy to replicate. But I will be giving this opportunity everything I have, and I believe with the right amount of hard work and passion, we can keep achieving success at BFC.”

An academy graduate at FC Barcelona, Cuadrat had coaching stints with the age-group teams at the Catalan giants before traveling to Galatasaray with Roca as part of Frank Rijkaard’s staff. He then became assistant to Roca at the Saudi Arabia and El Salvador national teams before joining Bengaluru FC at the start of the 2016-17 season during which he won the Federation Cup with the Blues.


Tuesday, June 12, 2018

Bengaluru sign defenders Gursimrat Gill, Sairuat Kima

Bengaluru FC Media 

Bengaluru FC have completed the signing of youngsters Sairuat Kima and Gursimrat Singh Gill on two-year deals till the end of the 2019-2020 season, the club announced on Monday. The duo join Kean Lewis and Rino Anto in the Blues’ camp as they continue to reinforce their squad ahead of the AFC Cup Inter-Zone Semifinal tie against Turkmenistan’s Altyn Asyr FK in August.

Twenty-one-year-old Gursimrat, who first joined Bengaluru in 2016-17 season from the AIFF Elite Academy, went on to feature in the I-League and the AFC Cup campaigns before being part of the Federation Cup winning squad in May 2017. The youngster was excited to rejoin the Blues after spending a season with NorthEast United.

“I'm really happy to have joined Bengaluru FC again. I was unlucky to be injured for most parts of my first stint at the club, but I'm glad that the club kept an eye on me and wanted to bring me back. I'm looking forward to joining the team and playing a part again,” said Gursimrat who made five appearances for the Highlanders in the ISL. 

Meanwhile, 20-year-old Sairuat who joins the club from Jamshedpur FC, began his youth career with Mizoram-based Chanmari FC before joining the DSK Shivajians youth setup in Pune. He was promoted to the first team during the 2016-17 season where the 6’3” tall defender featured in the Durand Cup and the Federation Cup apart from being a mainstay in defense in the I-League. The U23 India International was then snapped up by Jamshedpur in the ISL 2017-18 draft and featured for the Jharkhand-based side in the Super Cup.

“This is a big moment for me, and I’m really grateful for this opportunity. I’m excited to play for a professional club like Bengaluru FC, one that I’ve admired a lot. To go onto the next level, I must train regularly with the best players and BFC have the finest of the lot. Playing with them is something I’m eagerly looking forward to and hopefully I’ll give my everything and achieve success with the club in the coming years,” said Sairuat after completing formalities. 



Wednesday, June 6, 2018

Rino returns to Bengaluru

Bengaluru FC Media

BFC, on Wednesday, announced that right-back Rino Anto has returned to the club, signing on a two-year-deal that will keep him in Bengaluru colours until the end of the 2019-2020 season. The 30-year-old, who made the switch to Kerala Blasters in the ISL draft at the start of the 2017-18 season, returns ahead of the Blues’ 2018 AFC Cup Inter-zone semi-final against Altyn Asyr FK.

“I’m glad to be back at this club where I made so many memories and I cannot wait to get on the pitch in a Bengaluru FC shirt once again. It’s never easy to be a part of a club where the level of competition is so high, but I’m ready for the challenge,” said Rino, who made 80 appearances in his first four seasons with the Blues.

Having won the I-League in his debut season with the club in 2014, Rino was part of the club’s squad that won the Federation Cup titles in 2015 and 2017, reclaimed the I-League title in 2016 and also played in the AFC Cup final of 2016, in Doha.

"We're very happy to have Rino back, he's been a star performer for us in our entire journey, including being a club captain. He's been a leader for us and has a very strong connect with the fans, who I'm sure will be equally excited to have him back. Rino is a national team player and we look to see him back there, representing club and country," said club COO, Mustafa Ghouse

Bengaluru take on Turkmenistan’s Altyn Asyr FK in the first leg of their AFC Cup 2018 Inter-zone semi-final at the Kanteerava Stadium, on August 22.