Indian cricket legend Sachin Tendulkar revealed his Indian Super League side Kerala Blasters have started preseason preparations, ahead of the second season of the glamorous football league.
The master blaster also urged the fans to continue backing the team, as they look forward to another exciting season.
The Kerala-based outfit reached the final of the competition last year, but failed to beat Atletico de Kolkata, who won the game 1-0 to be crowned the inaugural ISL champions. However, Tendulkar's team beat a strong side like Chennaiyin FC – league leaders last season – with a 4-3 aggregate scoreline in the semifinals.
Kerala Blasters have roped in former Crystal Palace and England U-21 coach Peter Taylor this season, with an eye to going one better in ISL 2015. Tendulkar has informed that the team, under Taylor, have started a conditioning camp in the state capital.
"Kerala Blasters have kicked off its preparation for Season II with the conditioning camp at Thiruvananthapuram under coach Peter Taylor," the batting legend said in a statement. "The team is practicing at the impressive facility in Thiruvananthapuram and will help them to acclimatize to the conditions and prepare well for the season."
Looking at the additions the side have made this summer, Tendulkar says that the presence of the "exciting talent" can fuel the team's performance a notch higher this year.
"We have some exciting talent added to the team this year. Our performance in the inaugural season will serve as a huge motivation for the entire team to repeat and take it a step further!," Tendulkar added. "We look forward to yet another exciting season with the continued support of the wonderful fan base of Kerala Blasters."
The Kerala Blasters have announced a host of foreign signings this season which includes Spanish midfielders Josue Currais Prieto and Victor 'Pulga' Herrero, former QPR youth player Antonio German, ex-Benfica midfielder Joao Coimbra, former Arsenal man Sanchez Watt and English striker Chris Dagnall.
The defence has been bolstered by former Newcastle defender Peter Ramage, Brazilian duo Bruno Perone and Erwin Spitzner, former Sheffield United and Scunthorpe United full-back Marcus Williams. Former Valencia star defender Carlos Marchena is the marquee player of the side this season.
Kerala Blasters did not, however, sign any of the ten Indian players who were a part of the Indian Super League domestic player auctions this year.
Tendulkar's side start off proceedings in ISL 2.0 against NorthEast United FC on 6 October at the Jawaharlal Nehru Stadium in Kochi.