Hindsight: FC Goa’s future is in safe hands

posted in Specials by Sarthak Sharma on 9th March 2021

posted in Specials

by Sarthak Sharma

on 9th March 2021

Hindsight: FC Goa’s future is in safe hands

The disappointment of defeat is hard to put into words, and for fans of FC Goa, there remains an air of unfinished business after bowing out on penalties in the semifinals of the Indian Super League (ISL) against Mumbai City FC.

But, like always, there remains a silver lining in this dark cloud. This season proved that despite numerous challenges, this team never gives up, and against all odds, manages to be very competitive.

One of the major reasons for the Gaurs being so impressive this campaign is undoubtedly the emergence of young players who took the bull by the horns and led their team from the front.

Today, we take a look at some of those players who not only made a name for themselves, but took the name of FC Goa to places it has never been before.

Saviour Gama

Saviour Gama, FC Goa vs Mumbai City FC - 700x375

Filling the boots of former captain Mandar Rao Dessai could have been easily intimidating, but not if you’re Saviour Gama.

Our “saviour” on many occasions, the young Goan has emerged as a stalwart at left back in just one full season, and earned the respect of his teammates as well as the Goa faithful.

Regardless of the final result, nobody will ever forget the long range screamer Gama scored in the first leg of the semifinal against Mumbai City, proving that he is a man for the big occasion.

Along with his obvious defensive prowess, the 23-year-old also has three assists to his name this campaign, firmly maintaining him as one of the first names on the Goa team sheet.

Dheeraj Singh

Joining any team mid season can be tough, but Dheeraj Singh has proven in a short time that he is ready to tackle any challenge thrown at him.

The young custodian has made several important saves since making his bow for FC Goa, and continues to improve day by day.

His performances have even caught the eye of Indian national team coach Igor Stimac, with the youngster receiving a well-earned call up to the national team for a couple of friendlies.

In just nine matches, Dheeraj has made 16 saves and kept a couple of crucial clean sheets to aid Goa’s push this season. His potential is unlimited and he is already on the path to fulfilling it.

Devendra Murgaonkar

FC Goa vs East Bengal Devendra Murgaokar

Few would have heard the name of Devendra Murgaonkar before the start of this season, but in a short time, he seems to have become a household name.

That is a testament to his quality and undying spirit as well as the FC Goa scouting team, who are always on the lookout for young talent within the state of Goa as well as around the country.

Proving his class in the Goa Professional League, Devendra joined Goa last summer, and very quickly impressed Head Coach Juan Ferrando with his industry and obvious eye for goal.

In a forward line filled with talent, Devendra pushed his way into contention and was rewarded with multiple substitute appearances by the Spanish coach, even scoring a very important equaliser against SC East Bengal when hope seemed lost.

His enormous strides this season prove he is one to watch out for in the future and hopefully he can take this club to even greater heights.

Princeton Rebello

Princeton Rebello FC Goa - 1180x500

The name of Princeton Rebello has often been on the lips of ardent football fans in Goa, and this was the year that we saw the most and the best of the talented Goan.

In front of a new coach, Princeton stood out with his willingness to compete and his calmness on the ball in midfield, quickly becoming one of the Gaurs’ go-to players in times of need.

Making an impact from the very first game, Princeton went from strength to strength, and never once looked uncomfortable in the heart of midfield.

The 22-year-old has his best years ahead of him, and looks the real deal as Goa head into the AFC Champions League looking for players to rely on.

Ishan Pandita

Ishan Pandita scores, FC Goa vs Mumbai City - 700x375

He can talk the talk, and most certainly walk the walk. Ishan Pandita came to FC Goa with a bit of an aura about him, and boy did he live up to the hype.

The 21-year-old was establishing himself in Spain when the opportunity to play in the ISL emerged, and he grabbed the chance with both hands.

The ultimate “super sub”, Pandita came off the bench to score four times for FC Goa, and did so when the team looked to be heading towards defeat.

His movement in and around the box is at par with some of the best in the game, and his desire to get on the end of crosses is what makes him one of the deadliest young strikers in the league.

Earning a call up to the national team, Pandita has a long and fruitful future ahead of him, and his X-factor sure does help him appeal to the Indian public as well. He certainly is one to keep an eye out for in the coming years.