Dempo Sports Club striker Joaquim Abranches has been named captain of the Goa team to participate in the Santosh Trophy West Zone qualification round to be hosted by Goa Football Association (GFA) at Duler stadium from September 23. The list of twenty players selected to represent Goa was released by GFA on Saturday.
“I have selected Joaquim keeping in mind his ability to score goals and create chances for others to score and his contribution to football in India. He is the only player in the team to have represented the country,” coach Levino Pereira told The Navhind Times.
“It feels nice to know that I have been appointed as captain. Of course it is added responsibility but pride comes from leading your state. Goa has not won the Santosh Trophy for a long while. I will push all my colleagues to work towards getting the Trophy back to Goa. We almost did it last year. We will do it this time,” promised Joaquim.
“I have been selected before to represent Goa but this is the first time I am being appointed captain. I know I will need to get something special out of me and my colleagues to get the title back,” added Joaquim.
The Goa team selected by Levino has four U-20 players – Devendra Murgaonkar, Stendley Fernandes, Lesley Rebello and Ribhav Sardesai. Teams have to play three U-20 players in the starting eleven according to new All India Football Federation (AIFF) rules.
Coach Levino, as expected, has settled for a balance of experience and youth with captain Joaquim shouldering the responsibility upfront and Mathew Gonsalves of Dempo Sports Club and Clemente Joseph of Sporting Clube de Goa manning the defense.
Velito Cruz of Dempo SC is part of Levino’s plan in the midfield but a lot will be expected from Chaitan Komarpant of Salgaocar FC and Stendley Fernandes of Sporting Clube de Goa.
Chaitan is developing as a winger capable of running with the ball right through the opponent’s defense; sending in neat crosses and taking powerful shots at goal. He has been an understudy of coach Levino for a long while.
Stendley has been developing his ability to score through
set pieces; has good control of the midfield and is capable of powerful shots
at goal that, many a times, go past
GOALKEEPERS: Jason D’Mello, Melroy Fernandes, Ozen Silva (Goalkeepers)
DEFENDERS: Brian Faria, Mathew Gonsalves, Clemente Joseph, Clive Miranda, Sanson Pereira, Lesley Rebello (U-20)
MIDFIELDERS: Ribhav Sardesai (U-20), Samuel Costa, Velito Cruz, Chaitan Komarpant, Moses D’Sa, Stendley Fernandes (U-20), Denson Fernandes (U-20)
STRIKERS: Joaquim Abranches, Devendra Murgaonkar, Aaren D’Silva, Olvin Cardozo.
Coach: Levino Anthony Pereira; Assistant coach Severino Fernandes; Goalkeeper coach: Mario Aguiar; Manager Johncy Fernandes.