Chance to show how good Indian players can be: Mumbai City FC's Des Buckingham ahead of AFC Champions League
Mumbai City FC is set to make their debut in the AFC Champions League after they won the League Winner’s Shield in Hero Indian Super League (ISL) 2020-21 season. The Islanders have set up a preparatory camp in Al Forsan before leaving for Riyadh, Saudi Arabia for the 2022 AFC Champions League.
Head Coach Des Buckingham is pleased with his player’s preparations in the camp, ” Preparations have been good. We've come to Abu Dhabi to prepare as well as we can for the Champions League. And we have just over two weeks here. So we're a week in, we've nearly got all the players on the ground again with us and we've got some national team players to arrive back soon. But in terms of what we've been able to do, so far, it's a nice reset and a refresh to focus on what we want to achieve in the Champions League.”
He further went on to add that this is a great opportunity for the entire squad and especially the Indian players of MCFC to showcase their abilities, “Showing how good we can be when we have the ball because we have good players, and it's an opportunity for them to show how good Indian players can be on this stage.”
The Englishman is excited ahead of the team’s first AFC Champions League appearance as he revealed that his side wants to compete against the best, “It's an exciting one for everybody involved in the club and football in India. It's one that we know that it's been there all season. And now it's arrived, I think as a coach, and as players, you want to compete and play against the best. And at the club level, the Champions League gives us the opportunity to do that. So we're very much looking forward to it.”
Mumbai City FC will take on Al-Shabab on April 8 in their first game of Asia’s biggest Club Competition, the AFC Champions League.