Vasco Sports Club is in new hands but the old spirit of not believing in being underdogs was prevalent amongst the boys as they trained under the watchful eyes of new coach Micky Fernandes on Zuri beach in Fatrade.
Like many other clubs, Vasco have started conditioning training on the beach and are expected to shift to Cuncolim grounds in a few days.
Twenty boys – fifteen new signings and five of last year — are attending training and a few more are expected to fill the line up before the start of Goa professional league season 2018-19. From the fifteen new entrants, thirteen have already been registered with Goa Football Association (GFA).
“There are six players on trial and out of these, two will make it,” disclosed Micky.
Micky started as assistant coach of the team last season and has been retained by the new management that is headed by journalist Ravish Narvekar.
“I know the problems we faced last year. Since I was appointed way before the league could start and given the free hand to select my own squad, I feel the club starts on a stronger footing this season,” Micky told this newspaper.
Micky represented India on three occasions – 2015, 2016 and 2017— besides playing the nationals on several counts. He last played for Churchill Brothers.
“The average age of the team is 21. A majority of my players are youngsters who are capable of delivering because they play with an attitude of nothing to lose. The boys are combining well with each other and with the support of our fans, I am sure the boys are capable of recreating the football of past years,” admitted Micky.
The team was seen undergoing rigorous conditioning exercises. The players were seen sprinting at the whistle of the coach, jogging, stretching and practising ball control. “I will get the boys involved in set pieces when we move to our ground in Cuncolim,” stated Micky.
“Last season our team finished in the 8th position and this year we hope to do better with these boys; demonstrating a sparkle in their eye to go out there and play good football,” said Micky when asked what position the team aimed to retain this season.
“We will go out on the ground after finishing this conditioning to which the boys are responding well. We will be practicing at Cuncolim grounds after a few days,” disclosed Micky.
“The team is a blend of young and some experience players,” said the coach. “They have not reached their optimum level. There is some more practice sessions that they need to go through to get a better understanding of each other’s minds. The team can do better and will do,” said Micky.
Vasco SC, according to the tentative draw released by GFA, is supposed to start their new season Goa Professional League campaign with a match against Calangute Association. Except for 2 STC, who will be using their ground for their home matches, the remaining matches will be held at the Duler stadium.
Vasco SC plays their first home match against Guardian Angel SC and face Churchill Brothers in their third round match.