The Media Day in Mumbai happened yesterday where the press had an overwhelming interaction with FC Goa, FC Pune City, Delhi Dynamos and Mumbai City FC’s head coaches and key players.
FC Goa’s newly appointed assistant coach Jesus Tato spoke in the absence of their head coach Sergio Lobera. The veteran striker was very excited to speak about his journey from being Pune City’s key striker to FC Goa’s assistant coach now, “So my role has changed. I worked with Sergio Lobera for 3-4 years in the past. I’m thankful to FC Goa for giving me this opportunity. My role is different now, but it is always fun. I am here to enjoy the game.” said Tato.
The assistant coach also spoke about the difficulties they faced last season and claimed that the team wouldn’t defy from playing attacking football. The coach also explained the significance of the fact that they need to improve defensively as he stated, “Last season was great. You know we have to improve some things, but the most important thing is to keep playing the same football. Last season we scored a lot of goals but conceded many too. This season we look to improve our game defensively.”
The Gaurs have changed quite a few things which comes into attention in the 5th season of the ISL. One of them being Manuel Lanzarote and Ferran Corominas not being together. Coro was the highest goal scorer ever in the four ISL seasons with 18 goals. On being asked about the malaise that might be caused due to the absence of his fellow teammate Lanzarote this season he replied, “It’s definitely not an easy league. The way we played last year we created a lot of chances that’s why we scored a lot of goals. It is going to be difficult to score so many goals this season, but we are confident. Even if Lanza is not there we will be fine. We have players and we will do better. It is not always that one has to score goals, we need to play as a whole team.” said Corominas. On being asked about the reason for extending his contract with the Gaurs since last season he replied, “With regards to Goa, when I came here last year I felt much loved and overwhelmed, my family was quite happy here, so Goa is going to be my first option for the upcoming seasons as well.”
The local boy Mandar Rao Desai is appointed as the new leader for FC Goa. Being with the side since it’s inception and having more than 50 matches experience, he is regarded as one of the most experienced players of the team. On being asked about the added pressure the captaincy shall put upon him, Mandar said, “Every player is a captain in the team and they will help me make the right decision so that it becomes much easier.” Mandar Rao was also asked a very important question about the current grassroots structure the ISL teams especially FC Goa has in his homeland. His answer came quite effulgent as he stated,”I think the club has been trying to build the grassroots development programmes from day 1, they have been trying a lot by going to the schools and build new soccer school programmes. The good fact is that a lot of youth are getting very interested in it and I believe it is very important to have grassroots development programmes so that Indian football can prosper in the long run.”
After today’s interaction with FC Goa’s players, one thing has been concluded that the team seems very upbeat with stalwart players and are looking forward to making up for their mistakes and perform much better this season.