Olympics Begin In
Begin typing your search above and press return to search.


ISL: Analysing FC Goa's Indian contingent ahead of ISL 2021-22

FC Goa have developed a formidable side under their head coach Juan Ferrando. They have relied mostly on Indians to secure the Durand Cup silverware. Let's have a look into what their Indian contingent looks like.

ISL: Analysing FC Goas Indian contingent ahead of ISL 2021-22

FC Goa's footballers after winning the 130th Durand Cup. (Image Source: FC Goa Media)


Sattyik Sarkar

Published: 12 Oct 2021 5:22 AM GMT

From their recent success under Juan Ferrando in the Durand Cup, it is legitimate to say that FC Goa currently comprise of a very strong Indian contingent. Apart from the last few games in the historical tournament, the Gaurs fielded a side which was full of Indians; both experienced, young and promising. The way in which the team performed throughout the tournament, it can be said that the Gaurs will be a tough opponent in the upcoming edition of the Indian Super League, where teams will be allowed to field only four foreigners on the pitch. Before the Gaurs take the field against Mumbai City FC in their first encounter, let us go through their Indian contingent and discuss their strengths and weaknesses.


On having a detailed look at their squad, a person might feel that the Gaurs lack players who have fame to their name (except a few). But, that is where people get it wrong. Having good names in the team isn't of much help if they can't perform on the pitch. FC Goa have a team, which is by far the most balanced, at least in terms of the Indian contingent and their performance last year as well as a few weeks back in the Durand Cup. The team consists of players who are regulars in the Indian national side like Brandon Fernandes, Glan Martins, Seriton Fernandes and Dheeraj Singh Moirangthem but the squad depth they acquire is of immense impact. Youngsters like Muhammed Nemil Vailiyattil, Devendra Murgaonkar, Leander D'Cunha and Makan Chothe have already impressed Indian football fans in the Durand Cup and under the surveillance of Juan Ferrando are expected to bolster the squad in the ISL as well. Players like Dheeraj Singh Moirangthem and Devendra Murgaonkar have already enjoyed a chance of displaying their skills in the previous edition of the ISL; Dheeraj Singh Moirangthem, the goalkeeper, played excellent brand of football under the sticks and Devendra Murgaonkar scored from a brilliant header to equalize against SC East Bengal. Such a strengthened Indian brigade will help as well as trouble Juan Ferrando in selecting his first eleven in the ISL.


As it is said that the Indian contingent of the Gaurs is full of strength, it should also be kept in mind that these young players haven't been properly tested in the Indian Super League. Scoring goals, going past two or three defenders, sitting back and defending in a relaxed manner in the Durand Cup are a few things which they won't be able to perform in the ISL as it is a different ball game. The physical strength (not fitness) is also a thing which the Gaurs may have to work on before the league commences as the Indian contingent (mainly the midfielders and the strikers) can be stated to be a bit fragile compared to the other ten teams. Also the lack of a solid and dependable Indian centre-back alongside a foreigner may cause a bit of damage for Juan Ferrando's side. Keeping in mind Jorge Ortiz's injury and Airam Cabrera's poor performance abroad, depending only upon Murgaonkar upfront may turn out to be risky. The transfer of Ishan Pandita from FC Goa to Jamshedpur FC may not have been impactful in the Durand Cup but in the ISL, it may be cause of worry for the 40-year-old Spanish coach.


FC Goa's Indian contingent has a few players who are currently playing in the SAFF Championship for team India. Among them, midfielders Brandon Fernandes and Glan Martins are two footballers who may turn out to be decisive in the centre of the park for FC Goa. Brandon Fernandes' trickery and passing ability are applaudable. He's also the official set-piece taker of the team. Glan Martins' name may shock a few people, but his improvement under Juan Ferrando after joining FC Goa from ATK Mohun Bagan has earned the reliability to field his name in this article. His goal from long-range against Mumbai City FC just before half time still remains to be one of the best goals last season. His presence and hardworking ability differentiates him from others in the FC Goa side. The third name would surely be of Saviour Gama, who was astonishing in the previous edition of the ISL. His brilliance in the back four while defending and excellence while attacking led the foundation of a young left-back in the previous edition of the Indian Super League. He made a total of 101 tackles last season as well as scored a brace for the Gaurs.

Glan Martins, Brandon Fernandes, Saviour Gama.


Juan Ferrando's craftiness in developing young talents and showcasing their skills on a greater platform deserve applause. In this upcoming edition of the Indian Super League, Muhammed Nemil Vailiyattil, Devendra Murgaonkar and Dheeraj Singh Moirangthem will be the ones to keep an eye for. The 19-year-old midfielder, Muhammed Nemil Vailiyattil, who was previously in an academy in Spain has earned attention from fans during his trade in the Durand Cup. His performance from the very moment he came on had been impressive. The skills which the midfielder possesses is evidence enough why Reliance Foundation Young Champs, Kozhikode scouted him in 2015. Devendra Murgaonkar, the second name in the list, has to turn out to be an impactful identity on the pitch as apart from Airam cabrera, FC Goa don't really have much options upfront. They have already parted ways with Ishan Pandita and Jorge Ortiz is currently injured, so Murgaonkar is expected to make it into the squad of 18. The last name would be of former India U-17 goalkeeper Dheeraj Singh Moirangthem, who has been impressive under the sticks for the Gaurs after he joined the side from ATK Mohun Bagan in the winter transfer window. It may so happen that Dheeraj makes it into the starting line-up in this upcoming ISL.

Devendra Murgaonkar, Dheeraj Singh Moirangthem, Muhammed Nemil Vailiyattil.

Whom do you think will turn out to be the best Indian footballer for FC Goa in the upcoming Indian Super League?

Follow The Bridge - Football on Twitter: @bridge_football

Next Story