Mumbai City FC defender Rahul Bheke has expressed his thoughts on his upcoming first ever experience of the AFC Champions League on Friday.
Bheke, who has featured for clubs like FC Goa, Bengaluru FC and Kerala Blasters FC in the past is now all set to be an integral part of Mumbai City FC's maiden AFC Champions League campaign and he had a lot to say in his recent interview.
On being questioned by the Indian Super League's official website about the season gone by, Bheke said, "It was a mixed bag of a season for us. We started really well but we trailed off in the middle. In the end, we didn’t do enough to be where we wanted to be on the table.
"We look at this season as a learning curve for all of us. We want to assess what we did wrong but also what we did right and come back stronger for the next season."
Speaking about his side's AFC Champions League preparations, Bheke added, "The preparations have been very good. We have our plans set as laid out by the coach and we’ve had a chance to work on them in two practice games as well.
"The results were positive for us not only in terms of the score but also understanding and implementing the style of football the coach wants us to play in the Champions League. The mood is upbeat and everyone is excited to start our Champions League campaign."
On being asked about how different a challenge the ACL is as compared to ISL, Bheke said, "In AFC competitions, it’s about the kind of clubs and players you play against from different countries and different footballing cultures.
"In terms of the competition, there probably isn’t much difference. It all comes down to how you approach each game and each opposition. Having said that, the Champions League will of course be a bigger challenge than anything I have faced before but I am sure it will be an exciting one."
Bheke will be part of the squad when Mumbai City FC take on Al-Shabab in their AFC Champions League opening clash on Friday.