Mumbai City FC are one sleep away before they kick off a landmark 2023-24 season. A second consecutive appearance in the prestigious AFC Champions League is upon us as the Islanders kick off their continental campaign against Iran’s FC Nassaji Mazandaran tomorrow at the Shree Shiv Chhatrapati Sports Complex in Balewadi, Pune with action kicking off at 7:30 PM IST.
On the cusp of embarking on yet another historic AFC Champions League campaign, Mumbai City FC Head Coach Des Buckingham and goalkeeper Phurba Lachenpa attended a pre-match press conference ahead of their first Group D fixture against the Iranian Hazfi Cup Champions.
Head Coach Des Buckingham, spoke about the Islanders’ previous AFC Champions League campaign highlighting the club’s sentiment around it. He said, “We were slightly disappointed not to qualify for the next round last season and rather than maybe what the perception was going into the ACL last time. So, to change that narrative afterward was very positive and I think it really showcased what Indian football can do on this stage.”
Buckingham went on to talk about how this season’s AFC Champions League will be a unique experience, he said, “The tournament this year is going to be very different, with a very different set of circumstances. We were obviously based in Riyadh because of COVID-19 last season. This year we go back to the traditional format of home and away.
“With that comes these challenges and differences, but the one thing I'm looking forward to is just trying to replicate the performances that we had in the Champions League last year which put us in a strong position to get those results. We have experience of the Champions League from last year as well as the football that we