by Sarthak Sharma
on 26th March 2020
Youth Team Diaries: Aaren D’Silva reflects on a solid season for the Dev Team and outlines his plans for the future
FC Goa continue to make their mark following a successful season in the Hero Indian Super League (ISL), where the Gaurs finished top of the league table and booked their spot in next season’s AFC Champions League.
The success of the first team was impressive enough, but what cannot be overlooked is the rapid rise and progress of the various youth teams under the club’s umbrella, starting with the Developmental Team.
The FC Goa Dev Team has been the breeding ground for a number of local players who have time and again made it to the first team, and their performances this season suggest that there could be a few more call ups in the future.
Making his mark in the Dev Team this season in attack was Aaren D’Silva, whose 12 goals and 4 assists across all competitions helped the Gaurs cement themselves as major challengers in the Goa Professional League (GPL) as well as the Hero 2nd Division League, where the boys continue to fight for supremacy.
“I feel like this was a good season for me,” Aaren says, looking back at an impressive run this campaign.
“We played well collectively as a team, and the goals I scored were more team goals, which suggests we’re moving forward together.”
Aaren was an essential cog in the wheel as far as the Dev Team machine was concerned, and his brilliant display earned him our Junior Player of the Month award for January.
The striker was flying high at a time when the Dev Team was really starting to show their might, but had a minor setback in his season as he battled an injury.
“I was out for almost a month and couldn’t practice, and as soon as I recovered I was just dying to get back on the pitch,” he said.
Aaren’s recovery was a welcome sign for the club, and it was clear that he hadn’t lost a step, as he got back on the pitch and made a mark right away.
“When I came on, I scored with basically my first touch and it boosted my confidence so much. I got assists and goals and I think having a positive mindset helped me come back stronger and better,” Aaren continued.
Despite his individual contribution, the FC Goa Dev Team is a team that is built on the idea of playing attacking football, and even during Aaren’s absence, the likes of Kapil Hoble and Opi have stepped up and scored crucial goals.
“I feel our attacking football is really impressive and guys like Opi and Kapil have shown that they can help the team out by scoring whenever needed. Attack is definitely our strength and we can hopefully continue to improve once we return,” Aaren remarked.
While the youth setup has proved to be a great hunting ground for the 22-year-old, like others, he too wishes to one day make it up to the bright lights of the ISL and mix it up with the very best in the FC Goa first team.
“It’s always been my aim to make it up and perform in the first team. I want to be there soon and continue to play like I have done here,” Aaren says in hope of one day making his ultimate dream come true.
While his dream may not be that far away, what can be said with certainty is that the young forward has been one of the leading lights of the campaign so far, and hopes are that his performances will continue to improve despite the untimely break in the footballing calendar.