posted in Specials
by Sarthak Sharma
on 16th June 2020
Leander D’Cunha: My dream has come true
FC Goa have confirmed that Leander D’Cunha will join the FC Goa first team after earning a call-up from the Developmental side, and the right-back discussed his journey up the ranks at the club in an exclusive interview.
1. Congratulations on signing a first team contract at FC Goa. How does it feel?
It is a great feeling to sign this contract. I’m very excited to be called up to the first team. This is truly a dream come true.
2. Now that you have made it to the first team, how will you try and cement your place in the side?
I play as a right-back, and of course Seriton (Fernandes) is one of the senior players in the squad playing in this position. I’m already trying to learn many things from him that will help me once I join the squad.
3. Your talent has brought you up to this level, but is there anything extra that being in the first team will demand?
Yes, there are some things I still need to work on. I want to improve on my physicality in particular since football is quite intense at the highest level.
4. What attributes of yours do you think enabled you to get picked over others for a spot in the first team?
I think I was consistent throughout my time at youth level. I played most of the games regularly too and I think it helped my progression from the Dev Team to the senior team.
5. Which players have you looked up to over the years and tried to emulate?
I was always inspired by Lionel Messi. Apart from his individual skills, he is a team player, and being a Barcelona fan, it was great to see him doing what he does best. And even at this stage there is a yearning to give his all and be better everyday. Seeing a player like him on TV can sometimes help motivate young players like myself to become better.
6. Have you taken advice from any established FC Goa players to improve your game?
I look up to both Mandar and Seriton and admire them a lot for how they have worked their way up.
In fact, I take advice from them on how to get better and make it to the first team like they did. Fortunately, they have always been welcoming towards helping me out.
7. You became captain of the FC Goa Dev Team last year. What was that like and how did it happen?
At the start of the season, Coach Clifford (Miranda) approached me and offered the captaincy. I was normal at the time, but it was a moment I will always cherish.
8. How and when did you decide you wanted to become a footballer?
I used to go and watch football matches with my family as a child, and looking at them play I knew I wanted to become a footballer.
9. Are there any FC Goa players that you are specifically excited to play with?
There are so many top players at the club that I look up to. I would love to play with Seriton and even Lenny Rodrigues in the first team.
10. Since you were captain of the Dev Team, what message do you have for the youngsters who also want to follow your footsteps and reach the first team?
I would tell them to keep working hard because you never know when your opportunity will come up.