FC Goa’s women’s program went off to brilliant start with a second-place finish in their very first season in the GFA Vedanta Women’s League. Coached by Sugitesh Mandrekar, the Gaurs finished only a point behind eventual winners, Panjim Footballers.
The girls finished the season with 24 points from their 12 games thanks to 7 wins and 3 draws. The Gaurs pumped in 15 goals with Velanie Fernandes and Alisha Tavares top-scoring for the side with 4 goals each. Their biggest win came in a 5-0 drubbing of Goa-Velha.
With a determination to give women’s football a real boost in the region as well as in India, the Gaurs this year put in a blueprint to build the team from the bottom up. The side put together by FC Goa was one of the youngest sides in the league with the Gaurs looking to create an identity of their own.
Speaking on the accomplishment, Akshay Tandon, President of FC Goa stated, “We are proud of our girls. This is a tremendous achievement and I want to congratulate not only the players but also the coaches and the people who have worked behind the scenes to make this come true.
“We, at FC Goa, have always strived to be more than just an ISL side. As we have seen in recent years in Indian sports, given the right opportunity and infrastructure, our girls can be champions.
“This is just the start and I am confident that more success will follow in the days to come.”
The only ISL side to have a women’s team, FC Goa’s successful season was built on the back of their watertight defence. A stout backline meant that the Gaurs conceded the least number of goals amongst all the teams, helping their keeper, Josline D'Souza pick up the golden glove for the highest number of clean sheets in the competition.
FC Goa also recorded the biggest goal difference which stood at +11.
The opportunity to strut their talents out on the footballing pitch has been an endearing experience for all the girls in FC Goa colours. The season has not only brought in joy in terms of getting a platform to showcase their talent, but also has been one that has been rife with the delights of a successful campaign.
With the backing of the Gaurs management, the women footballers of Goa have been given a shot in the arm.
Speaking on the achievement, FC Goa’s Technical Director, Derrick Perreira stated, "We looked at the GFA Vedanta Women’s League as an opportunity and a step towards our larger plans of women’s football development. It has been a great and rewarding experience to be involved in setting up the FC Goa Women’s team.
“Of course the environment around women’s football is still raw as compared to men’s football, but there is no dearth of dedication, passion and skill in the women footballers. At FC Goa we believe in equal opportunities for all and together we can build something very special.
“Considering this is our first year in the league, I am happy with the result. Our team was young and second place is a great achievement. The girls have put in a lot of effort at training and I have seen them improve with every game played.”