Kochi: Young goalkeeper Dheeraj Singh Moirangthem will debut for Kerala Blasters as the ISL side takes on A-League's Melbourne City FC in the opening match of the LaLiga World tournament here tomorrow.
Dheeraj, who was one of the standout performers for the India U-17s at the FIFA U-17 World Cup last year, had attended trials outside India.
After a trial stint at Scottish club Motherwell FC, Dheeraj trained with English Premier Club Bournemouth before joining Kerala Blasters.
The three-team pre-season tournament also features Spanish club Girona FC who will play their first game on Friday against Melbourne City FC.
After training in the football loving city of Kochi for the last four days, Melbourne City FC head coach Warren Joyce sounded upbeat.
"We will be facing a side that will be playing in front of their home crowd, I am expecting them to come hard at us. The team has had a good couple of days of training and I would like to applaud the facilities here in Kochi which are truly up to the international standards," said Joyce.
With 43 points, Melbourne City FC finished third in the last A-League season with a run to the semi-finals of the Finals Series.
"We are coming here on the back of a fantastic last season and all the players want to have a good start to the current season without any injuries. All players from our present squad are expected to take the ground and have some playing minutes under their belt.
"The tournament will be a good learning curve for all the young players who have joined the squad this season," added Joyce.
After finishing sixth in the 2017-18 season of Indian Super League, Kerala Blasters FC would use this opportunity to regroup their team ahead of their fifth season.