MAPUSA: If you ask anyone to describe this FC Goa development side, their answer would be the team with some of the State’s finest football talent. And that’s absolutely correct. Ever since its formation, the FC Goa development has seen many youngsters go on to become some top players in the Indian Super League as well as I-League.
Liston Colaco, Princeton Rebello, Mohammed Nawaz, Saviour Gama, Bryce Miranda and a few names who are currently having their best moments in the beautiful game.
The Gaurs impressed in their first season in the Goa Professional League finishing 4th and went on to win the title in their second season in the competition. Their performance earned them instant fan following having maximum fans for their matches.
That was not just because they were the reserves team of FC Goa, but also because of the game play which is similar to that of the senior team.
Last season 2019-20, the team won Goa Police Cup 2019, GFA Charity Cup 2019 before the start of the GPL season, but they couldn’t carry on the same form into the season as they were 5th on the table with 31 points when the GPL was abandoned due to COVID 19 pandemic.
Speaking to the newly appointed coach Deggie Cardozo had volumes to narrate about the young Gaurs. “We did lose some of our good players like, Shubham Das, Leander D'Cunha and Flan Gomes but I am happy that they have moved to our FC Goa first team. However, we have retained most of last year squad and added two more new faces Delton Colaco from Sporting Clube de Goa and Rollen Fernandes from Air India in Mumbai.”
FC Goa who focuses on the development of our own youth players has promoted eight players from the U-18 this season. Joybert Antao is one player we should all watch-out for. The young striker made his name early in the sport during his junior days at Dempo SC.
Former Dempo SC Technical Director late Katz Naidoo predicted the youngster would go on to be even finer player in his career and the youngster has been just proving his former director’s words correct.
The team began their preseason in the second week of December and speaking on the procreations, coach Deggie said, “Under the guidance of our Technical Director and Head of Youth Development Derrick Pereira and technical staff we planned our short pre-season programme, taking due care on the players fitness level and other aspects of the game.”
“The players are aware of the road map for them to progress and grow. There have been players Saviour Gama, Liston Colaco, Princeton Rebello, Shubham Dhas, Mohammad Nawaz. Hyderabad’s Mohammad Yasir also spent a season with us,” Deggie expressed.
Aaren D’Silva, Nestor Dias, Dylan D’Silva, Sarineo Fernandes and Flan Gomes who were part of the ISL team would be playing in the Goa Professional league and that makes the squad even stronger.
The team strength has been their creativity in midfield and will be heavily depended on creative Nestor Dias.
Deggie concluded by saying that “he has a challenge to develop players individually and collectively as a team. Coaches like Clifford Miranda, Sugitesh Mandrekar and Gavin Araujo have already shown the way at various age group levels. With the guidance of our Technical Director and Head of Youth Development, Derrick Pereira, we believe that the future is going to be even brighter.”
Speaking on the squad, FC Goa Technical Director Derrick Pereira said, “We have continued with our philosophy of promoting and encouraging young talent with the squad for the Goa Pro League.
“We have immense faith in the youngsters at the Club and eight promotions handed out is another promising sign for us all. The focus for the Developmental Team remains on developing these players further and helping them take the next step in their footballing careers.” He concluded.