Renowned sports anchor and TV Host Khuri Irani teamed up with the assist king of the Indian national team Brandon Fernandes for an interview recently organised on the ‘GaurArmy’ instagram page.
Brandon Fernandes, attacking midfielder for both Goa and the Indian national team, started his footballing career when he was only 6 years old when his parents got him into the youth set-up at Fransa-Pax. After Fransa-Pax disbanded, he moved to the youth set-up at Velsao Pale Sports Club where he played for the club’s under-14 side as an eight year old. He then moved to Goa United Football academy before getting signed by Salgaocar for the under-14 team. During his time at Salgaocar, he represented the team at the under-14, under-16, and under-19 levels.
His amazing performance at Salgaocar and the under 20 side of India, he was enrolled into the ASD football academy in Cape Town, South Africa. There he attracted scouts from some big clubs with his performance scoring 12 goals in 12 matches, 4 of which were free kicks. These scouts were from clubs like Leicester City, Reading and Sunderland. After his return to India he has played for clubs like Mumbai City, Mohun Bagan, Sporting Goa and Churchill Brothers. In 2014, Fernandes represented his home state, Goa-India, during the 2014 Lusophony Games.He played in the final of the tournament, assisting twice and scoring once from the penalty spot, as Goa beat the under-20 team of Mozambique to become the champions at the Lusophony Games. Brandon played 4 times, and scored thrice during the Lusophony games
Khuri started the live by asking him to share some memories of him with the Gaur Army, to which Brandon said he is grateful to have such fans who support the players on and off the field and create the atmosphere a player and a team needs to work even harder on the pitch. He added that they want to return them with good performances.
Talking about his relationship with his teammates in FC Goa, Brandon said he’s most comfortable with Mandar Rao Dessai, be it while training or traveling. He also said that he is his roommate too and he is also comfortable with Adil Khan when in national camps.
When he was requested to share his experience in South Africa, Brandon told that training in South Africa is a lot different than that in India and is brutal. He explained that it’s like either you go for the ball or the other player is going to kick you or tackle you hard. And that’s what makes you a good player. Playing at South Africa brought him a lot of exposure and he learnt many skills there and improved a lot.He then shared about his relationship with the coaches and staff in the Indian National Team. He said he debuted with 2 more players Sahal Abdul Samad and Rahul Bheke, this required earning the trust of the head coach and making him believe in his potential and ever since that day he has been the most assist provider for the team and a beast when it comes to taking set pieces.
When asked about , if not FC Goa then which team he would have chosen to play for, he answered Mumbai City because he played for them in the past. Also he told the fans that he is staying with FC Goa for the coming season as well.
Most of the session was informal as it included questions by fans and people who know them personally. A lot of conversation included praising the konkan language and Brandon’s love for Konkan. Brandon also shared his childhood memories of playing in his backyard where he broke windows of his neighbour but now is proud of who he is.
The session came to an end with a rapid fire round and a small quiz intended to ask Brandon how much he knows himself. The session was quite fun for his fans and the Gaur Army.
Brandon is a star creator and he also wants to score a few goals for the country. He displayed an amazing performance this season in the Hero ISL as he scored twice and assisted 7 times in 17 appearances in the season, finishing as the highest assisting Indian player in the league once again.