After winning the Goa Pro League, Shubham, Sarineo and Hayden set their sights higher
Shubham Dhas – Goalkeeper
Age – 20
Height – 6’1”
Date of Birth – 7 October, 1998
Starting his career off as a striker, Shubham Dhas has now firmly established himself as the developmental team’s number one choice between the sticks.
The run to the Goa Professional League title will have helped his confidence as the 20-year-old kept opponents out during his side’s run to the summit. Dhas started playing as a striker for the Don Bosco High School, Pune when one of the team’s keepers got injured.
The coach chose the youngster to step in to guard the goal and Dhas hasn’t looked back since. Dhas joined his first professional set-up, the Pune FC academy at 14 before switching over to the DSK Shivajians academy the next year.
Dhas, in particular, remembers the 1-0 win over Churchill Brothers that was pivotal in the title race, as he faced a barrage of shots from the Red Machines’ attacking line-up but was able to parry them all.
A fan of Manuel Neuer, Dhas particularly admires the German keeper’s skill with the ball and his command of the defence. The Punekar hopes that he too can captain his side one day like his idol at Bayern Munich.
In his spare time, Dhas likes to post pictures on Instagram. He is also an avid player of PUBG, along with team-mate and friend Jonathan Cardozo.
Sarineo Fernandes – Left-back
Age – 20
DOB – 9 Feb, 1999
Height – 5’ 7”
Sarineo Fernandes shares a career path similar to good friend and team-mate Saviour Gama, two years his senior.
Both were flying left-wingers at FC Bardez, before being converted to left-backs and playing for the FC Goa developmental team. Fernandes and Gama had a crucial role to play in Clifford Miranda’s team lifting the Goa Pro League title.
Fernandes started playing football at 13, playing for an under-14 team in the locality of Benaulim in south Goa. His earliest memories of football are watching Dempo at the Fatorda Stadium.
Picked up by Salgaocar, he was converted to a left-sided defender by coach Armando Colaco at Bardez. He would also go on loan to Dempo before playing for the FC Goa under-18 team in 2017.
The left-back admires Romeo Fernandes and is also a fan of Cristiano Ronaldo, specifically for his skills and speed on the ball.
Fernandes’ most memorable moment last season arrived when he scored against his former teams Salgaocar and Dempo. He was subsequently congratulated by his previous team-mates at the two clubs and hopes to kick on this season.
Hayden Fernandes – Central midfielder
Age – 22
DOB – 27 Nov, 1997
Height – 5’ 5”
Hayden Fernandes’ double pivot system with Princeton Rebello paid dividends for the developmental side last season with the latter graduating to the first team on the back of some stupendous performances from the duo.
Fernandes took up football in the third grade inspired by his father who played for his village team but in Hayden’s own words, “did not receive any opportunities to showcase his skills.”
Joining Salgaocar’s youth set-up was the first step on his footballing journey as the Goan midfielder joined the AIFF Elite Academy in 2012 and stayed there for four years till 2016. Fernandes was part of a batch which contained future internationals Nishu Kumar, Ashique Kuruniyan and Lallinzuala Chhangte. Sajid Dar and Syed Sabir Pasha were his coaches at the Elite Academy.
Returning to Goa, Fernandes joined Dempo for two years, having played in the Goa Pro League during this period. The midfielder then joined FC Goa’s developmental team.
The midfielder’s tendency to shoot from distance is modelled after Paul Scholes. He is also a fan of Andres Iniesta and Barcelona. The Catalan club, Fernandes says, has taught him that ‘footballers don’t always need force, but need to have the technique.’ In his spare time, Fernandes puts his legs to (more) good use.
Dancing is a release for the youngster, as he likes to break into a jig from time to time.