FC Goa, which recently won the 2021 Durand Cup, will be fielding a developmental team for the upcoming Goa Pro League, with their campaign beginning on October 19. The developmental side has played a big part in FC Goa's success lately, with many of the players representing the senior team.
FC Goa go into the 2021/22 season of the Goa Pro League with a 22-member squad from the Developmental team. Deggie Cardozo will again be in charge of the young Gaurs who begin their campaign on 19th October against Velsao SCC.
The squad features a total of four players promoted from the U18 team, viz. Versly Paes, Aditya Salgaonkar, Jovial Dias and Mevan Dias.
The roster will also feature new signings Kunal Kundaikar and Manushawn Fernandes. Kundaikar was part of Sporting’s title-winning squad from last season whilst Manushawn caught the eyes with his performances for the Youth Club of Manora.
The Developmental team has played a big part in FC Goa’s success in recent years with the last few seasons seeing a number of youngsters like Princeton Rebello, Saviour Gama, and Leander D’Cunha using the Goa Pro League and chances in the Developmental team to make a mark at the national stage.
Last month’s victorious Durand Cup campaign also saw three of last season’s Developmental team players - Papuia, Hrithik Tiwari and Christy Davis - play major roles in the triumph. And that is what Cardozo is looking to continue.
“There is a clear path to the senior team and that serves as the main motivation for each of the players,” said Cardozo. “And that needs to be the case everywhere in the country if footballing standards are to improve.”
The full FC Goa squad for the 2021/22 season of the Goa Pro League is as follows:
Goalkeepers: Hansel Coelho, Viddhesh Bhonsle
Defenders: Deeshank Kunkalikar, Rayan Menezes, Lesly Rebello, Versly Paes, Manushawn Fernandes, Kunal Kundaikar, Aditya Salgaonkar
Midfielders: Malsawmtluanga, Brison Fernandes, Lalremruata HP, Jovial Dias, Delton Colaco, Jordan Borges, Flan Gomes, Velroy Fernandes, Ivon Costa
Forwards: Vasim Inamdar, Mevan Dias, Salgeo Dias, Britto Pereira
Speaking on the squad and the aspirations ahead of the tournament, head coach Deggie Cardozo said, “The focus for us heading into the new season will remain the same - development of these players, both as individuals and as a whole team.
“This season, we feel confident heading into the competition. We have had a strong preseason as compared to the last, which was curtailed due to the pandemic.”
After a disappointing outing last time around, the Gaurs will look to do better with more experience under their belt heading into this season.
“In players like Delton (Colaco), Kunal (Kundaikar) and Manushawn (Fernandes), we have players who have played a year in the Goa Pro League. They were also part of the squad that traveled for the Durand Cup and were training with the first team,” added Cardozo.