FC Goa fans eagerly await a season of resurgence and victory in ISL

posted in Interviews by FC Goa Official on 27th September 2023

posted in Interviews

by FC Goa Official

on 27th September 2023

FC Goa fans eagerly await a season of resurgence and victory in ISL

With the anticipation of the upcoming Indian Super League (ISL) season growing stronger, the ardent fans of FC Goa have voiced their excitement and expectations for the Club’s performance in the league.

The Club has made strategic moves in the transfer window, adding both domestic and foreign talent to fortify their ranks. The buzz among the supporters is palpable as they foresee a promising season ahead, filled with renewed hope and aspirations of clinching the elusive ISL title.

Strengthened squad fuels optimism

FC Goa enthusiasts like Kunal Kunkolienkar from Margao are optimistic about the strengthened squad, bolstered by impactful additions during the transfer window.

“We’ve made several notable domestic signings – (Sandesh) Jhingan, Rowllin (Borges), Raynier (Fernandes) and Udanta (Singh) to name a few, who are complemented by key foreign acquisitions like Odei (Onaindia), (Carl) McHugh and Victor (Rodriguez). I speak for all fans when I say that we believe these moves have significantly bolstered the team’s capabilities. We’re very optimistic about what the season holds in store for us,” he said.

Hunger for victory grows stronger

Salil Naik from Bicholim highlighted the impressive performances of FC Goa in the Durand Cup and friendly matches. “We’ve noticed a notable improvement in gameplay and in terms of determination among the players, during pre-season.

“I think there is more hunger within the team compared to the previous few seasons. After looking at this team and the ability of our Coach, we are hopeful of success and we’ll be there to witness it at Fatorda,” he added.

Noah, always the fan favourite

While the Men in Orange made as many as 12 new signings over the course of the summer and fans are excited to see how they fare, they are also keen to celebrate the return of their Moroccan star, Noah Sadaoui.

The 30-year-old finished last season with 11 goals and nine assists to his name, and has already added six more goals to his tally at the recently concluded Durand Cup.

“Surely, we’ve strengthened our squad with the new signings, but I’m more keen to see Noah play again. His energy, pace, skills and passion lit up the stadium last year. I still remember that moment where he scored against Mumbai City and celebrated in front of fans, kissing the FC Goa badge on his jersey. It showed how much this team means to him, and players like that are great assets,” Glency Rodriguez from Chicalim opined.

“You know for sure that they will give their absolute best for the team, and the others also feed off their energy. I hope he has an even better season this time,” she added.

Strategic focus on experience and emerging talents

Fans have also acknowledged the club’s strategic focus on experience, particularly applauding the acquisition of players like McHugh. While seasoned signings are vital, he also commented that fans are equally excited about emerging talents like Jay Gupta.

“This time, we’ve gone for experienced signings, which is the right call I must say. But the youngsters have also been impressive, like Jay for instance who was so positive in all his decision-making and performed well in the Durand Cup.

“My only concern is in the goalkeeping department. I really hope Coach Manolo instills confidence in Dheeraj (Singh), Arshdeep (Singh) and Hrithik (Tiwari) and make them unstoppable,” Saiel Naik from Usgao said.

Trusting the vision of a proven coach

Sameer Shirodkar from Margao placed his trust in FC Goa’s coach, Manolo Marquez, a proven strategist known for nurturing young talent.

“I trust the Coach, because he’s already proved himself in Indian football. He knows what he is doing especially with the youngsters. This being our first season under him, and with a new system, we should all keep realistic hopes and expect the team to perform well exponentially as the season goes by,” he explained.

A season of resurgence

There’s also an emphasis among the Gaurs’ faithful, on the shift from previous seasons, where the team struggled to meet their own high standards set earlier in the league. He highlighted the transformation in the team’s defensive solidity, midfield potency, and attacking prowess, evident in the goal-scoring spree during the Durand Cup.

“This team is now solid in defence, potent in midfield and aggressive in attack which showed in the Durand Cup where goals were scored in large. Hence this season, we will be seeing our old FC Goa that we’re all so familiar with, and our Fortress will be jam-packed like before,” Abhishek Sawant from Mapusa said.

A big season for the Captain

The upcoming league campaign is also a crucial one for skipper Brandon Fernandes, who will wear the armband for the second season in a row. Anlisa Rodrigues from Corlim, who is a huge fan of the Indian international, expects him to have a breakout campaign.

“Brandon has been a magnificent player throughout his time with our team. Being the Captain, it is very important for him to handle the team, motivate himself and his teammates and work harder than before. It would be surreal for us to see him lift silverware for his home team, and I’m sure he’d feel the same way too,” she said.