Goa Announced Squad For Santosh Trophy
The Goa Football Association today announced its final squad for the 71st Santosh Trophy to be held from March 12 to March 26, 2017 at three venues across Goa.
Former India midfielder Francisco Fernandes was named as captain of the 20-member squad by coach Mateus Costa, in the presence of GFA President Elvis Gomes, General Secretary Welvin Menezes, Team Manager Anthony Pango, Chef De Mission Sanjiv Nagvenkar and GFA executive committee member Angelo Albuquerque.
Goa is bidding to win its first Santosh Trophy since 2009 when goalkeeper Felix D’Souza captained then to a memorable win in Chennai.
Coach Costa decided on his final 20, including four new players, after rigorous training sessions at Navelim, Curtorim and GMC Athletic Stadium, Bambolim, which will host Goa’s opener against Meghalaya on Sunday.
Speaking to reporters, GFA president Elvis Gomes said, “Despite all the talk that the tournament has lost its charm, the Santosh Trophy will always remain significant to Goa.”
Coach Mateus Costa said his team was under pressure to deliver Goa’s sixth title.
“There is pressure, no doubt, but we have to overcome. We are working on the mental aspect of the team as well. It’s very important that we do not falter at home,” said Costa.
The team looks strong on paper with an interesting blend of youth and experience. Seasoned campaigners and former ISL stars like Peter Carvalho and Nicolau Colaco find a place in the team which is captained by FC Pune City midfielder Francis Fernandes. Teenage sensation and one of the hottest young properties in Goan football, Liston Colaco, also finds a place.
Talented youngsters like Brian Mascarenhas George D’Souza, Akeraj Martins and Glan Martins will lend pace to Goa’s wings and a thrust in their attack while the defence looks solid with the likes of Salgaocar stopper back Leny Pereira and Melvin Lobo, who donned colours for Calangute Association in this season’s Goa Professional League
Meanwhile in a practise match yesterday at the GMC Athletic Stadium, Goa got the better of Goa Police 2-0. Marcus Mascarenhas and Latesh Mandrekar were the goal scorers with both goals coming in the second half of play.
Goalkeepers: Agnelo Gomes (Santa Cruz Club of Cavelossim), Melroy Fernandes (Calangute Association), Bruno Colaco (Salgaocar FC)
Defenders: Assumption Soares (Dempo SC), Melvin Lobo (Calangute Association), Jessel Carneiro (FC Bardez), Leny Pereira (Salgaocar FC), George D’Souza (Sporting Clube de Goa), Nicolau Colaco (Salgaocar FC).
Midfielders: Peter Carvalho (FC Bardez), Francisco Fernandes (FC Pune City), Latesh Mandrekar (FC Bardez), Brian Mascarenhas (Salgaocar FC), Leander D’Cunha (Churchill Brothers SC), Cajetan Fernandes (Sporting Clube de Goa), Glan Martins (Sporting Clube de Goa).
Strikers: Akeraj Martins (Sporting Clube de Goa), Aaren D’Silva (Santa Cruz Club if Cavelossim), Marcus Mascarenhas (Sporting Clube de Goa and Liston Colaco (salgaocar FC)
Sanjiv Nagvenkar (Chef de Mission), Mateus Costa (Coach), Norbert Gonsalves (Assistant Coach), Anthony Pango (Manager), Dilip Kumar (Physio) and Chandrakant Naik (Goalkeeper Coach).