Mumbai City‘s 2021–22 season came to an underwhelming conclusion, a year after they became the first ISL side to win the double. The team, led by Des Buckingham, finished outside the top four in the league table and could not advance to the playoffs. But the following AFC Champions League campaign was positive, as they finished second in a challenging group, winning two games and drawing one. The Islanders ultimately fell short to Al-Shabab in the competition to advance to the next round.
Mumbai City FC will hold their pre-season in Dubai, which will include both Indian and foreign players. The pre-season will run from July 25 to August 12 and the Indian contingent will depart for the UAE on July 24. After returning from the United Arab Emirates, they will field their first team in the Durand Cup. The club will not play any friendlies during their pre-season in Dubai. As soon as all of the formalities are completed, the foreigners will join the team in Dubai.
The Islanders’ opening Durand Cup game will take place against the Indian Navy at the Kishore Bharati Stadium in West Bengal. Their matches against East Bengal and ATK Mohun Bagan are on 22nd and 28th August respectively at the Salt Lake Stadium.
This time around, Mumbai City has made the necessary moves in the transfer market to ensure that they can contend for the trophy in the upcoming season. They were directed in the market by Sujay Sharma, who had left Hyderabad to return to Mumbai as their Director of Football.
Greg Stewart from Jamshedpur FC was their first significant purchase. The Scottish midfielder, who last season played for The Red Miners and won the Hero of the League award, will now be seen sporting the Blues of Mumbai. After the deal for David Williams, the former ATK Mohun Bagan forward fell through, the versatile Rostyn Griffiths was signed. Before deciding to switch to India, Griffiths spent four years at Melbourne City, a fellow City Football team.
Besides that, the Islanders also extended the loan of midfielder Vinit Rai, who had previously impressed Buckingham, and in exchange loaned Raynier Fernandes to Odisha FC. They have also signed Sanjeev Stalin and Bhaskar Roy from Kerala Blasters and Rajasthan United, respectively. Bhaskar will provide more depth in the goalkeeping position and will compete with the likes of Phurba Lachenpa and Mohammed Nawaz.
Their final two foreign signings, Alberto Noguera and Jorge Pereyra Diaz, have also been announced by Mumbai. Pereyra Diaz left Kerala last week and, in an unexpected turn of events, is all set to sign with Mumbai City FC, once the formalities are completed. Noguera, meanwhile, will leave FC Goa after two seasons and will play under Des this year.
Follow our website for the latest updates on Indian Football.