Earlier this month, the Gaurs announced that local lad Brandon Fernandes, who is also one of their longest-serving players, will lead FC Goa in the upcoming Indian Super League season. After last season's disappointing campaign, Goa's skipper will have to rally the team's spirit and guide them to victory.
Last season performance (9th)
While Goa got the better of Chennaiyin FC on both occasions last year, that was just about it from the Gaurs' side. The team could only win four times in the campaign which got them a ninth placed finish in the table.
Their goal difference was one of the worst amongst all the teams, which only shone a light on their leaky defence and ineffective attack line.
About the manager
A familiar face returned to the club after Carlos Pena was announced as the head coach. Pena, a former footballer himself, was part of FC Goa's ISL Shield winning side when they topped the table in the 2019-20 season.
Prior to taking the reins over at Goa, he was coaching Spanish sides' youth teams like Lorca Deportiva, Murcia CF, and Albacete. Pena succeeds Derrick Pereira who was in-charge of the side during the latter half of the last season.
During an interaction with the ISL media team, Pena said that he likes his sides to be proactive and brave both defensively and offensively. While this sounds quite appealing in words, it remains to be seen whether he is able to translate the same on the pitch.
Incoming: Iker Guarrotxena, Alvaro Vasquez, Fares Arnaout, Marc Valiente, Arshdeep Singh, Ayush Chhetri, Noah Sadaoui.
Outgoing: Ivan Gonzalez, Alberto Noguera, Alexander Jesuraj, Airam Cabrera, Christy Davis, Danstan Fernandes, Naveen Kumar, Dylan Fox.
- The kind of foreign players that the club has brought in will only complement to the ones that are already there. The likes of Edu Bedia will surely love pinging balls to Vasquez and Iker.
- With an average age of 23.9, FC Goa is the youngest squad going into the new season. While youthful exuberance can always contribute the hunger to win, it also brings inexperience with itself.
- Another factor that can be deciding for the Gaurs' new campaign is the quality of the Indian players. Except a few Nemils and a few Brandons, the Indian contingent in the side doesn't have much depth.
(Subject to change.)
Goalkeepers: Dheeraj Singh, Arshdeep Singh, Hrithik Tiwari.
Defenders: Lalhmangaihsanga Ralte, Farnes Arnaout, Marc Valiente, Aibanbha Dohling, Anwar Ali, Mohamed Ali, Manushawn Fernandes, Saviour Gama, Sanson Pereira, Seriton Fernandes, Leander D'Cunha.
Midfielders: Edu Bedia, Ayush Chhetri, Glan Martins, Brison Fernandes, Brandon Fernandes, Princeton Rebello, Phrangki Buam, Muhammed Nemil, Iker Guarrotxena, Noah Sadaoui, Nongdamba Naorem, Salgeo Dias, Vasim Inamdar, Jordan Borges, Redeem Tlang, Makan Chote, Delton Colaco, Jovial Dias, Shanon Viegas.
Forwards: Alvaro Vasquez, Devendra Murgaonkar, Flan Gomes, Mevan Dias.