FC Goa will be one of the teams that will participate in the GFA Vedanta Women’s League. The league is scheduled to start on February 28. Other than FC Goa’s team, Futebol Club of YFA, Goa United Sports Academy, Sirvodem Sports Club and Compassion Sports Club will participate, where the winner of the tournament will represent Goa in the upcoming Indian Women’s League (IWL).
Ahead of the campaign, a 24-member squad has been shortlisted which include experienced names like Malvita Mascarenhas, Kimberly Fernandez and multi-sports athlete Kusum Shaikh. The Gaurs addressed the media in an online press interaction this Wednesday and here’s what they had to say.
Technical Director Derrick Pereira will overlook the functioning of the team while head-coach Sugitesh Mandrekar will lead the team from the sidelines.
“We have always believed in promoting football irrespective of gender. Although we were a bit late to form the team the preparations are going on well. We see this as a good opportunity where we have a young as well as experienced players team,” said Technical Director Derrick Pereira.
”We at FC Goa will always like to stick to our philosophy of playing with keeping the ball possession, moving forward and a very attractive attacking brand of football. The girls were chosen through that pathway itself. They are doing well and are playing a very good possessive, attacking football. We will look to continue that,” he added.
Head coach Sugitesh Mandrekar shared insights about the preparations of the team.
”Preparations are going on and we are into the third week. There was a little bit of break in between but the girls are adjusting well to the conditions. We want to show good football when we play our first game on the 28th.”
Malvita Mascarenhas is one of the most experienced players in the squad. Her resume consists of representing Goa at different levels to be a part of the coaching staff of PVC Parra during their last IWL campaign.
”The team is shaping up quite good. We have a lot of youngsters in the squad, the whole jelling up as a team and working together on how the coach wants us to play is what we are working on right now. We are encouraging the youngsters to put themselves out and work along with us to give their best,” said Malvita.
“It is a very demanding style of play, nothing that we generally play. It’s generally 4-4-2. We have been working with the same style since we started and so everbody is being able to keep up well. It’s not that one player has an advantage over the other. It’s the team that’s working together. It just feels nice to be able to play the FC Goa way and to know that the coaches have faith in us to be able to play as good as the boys are playing. “
Said Kimberly Fernandez, who is another experienced player in the squad.The defender from Mumbai has previously represented Bodyline SC in the IWL.
24-year-old multi-sports athlete Kusum Shaikh shared her thoughts on coming back from a long break due to the pandemic and tieing the boots.
”It was difficult to catch up with the stamina but we are doing it well as a team and are working hard as a team.”
24 member squad for GFA Vedanta Women’s League.
Goalkeepers: Swizel Carvalho, Jenoshka Fernandes, Lysandra Rodrigues
Defenders: Kulsum Shaikh, Prissie Fernandes, Malvita Mascarenhas, Stessi Cardozo, Remediana Noronha
Midfielders: Vailanka D’Souza, Geneive Fernandes, Suveda Kokate, Joyvi Fernades, Rebecca Mascarenhas, Amisha Endro, Kimberley Fernandes
Forwards: Mable Fernandes, Aqsa Sayed, Blessica Rodrigues, Sujata Shetty, Karina Haldankar, Joizima Fernandes, Leifa Carvalho, Flani Costa, Neefa Clemente