Munich, Thailand and now Goa for Quan

His football journey has taken him from the quaint village of Majorda to the bustling city of Munich and now Sporting Clube de Goa has decided to promote their midfield magician Quan Gomes to the senior team, on Tuesday at the SCG office, in Panjim.

This September will mark five years since Quan put the St Anthony’s High School in Majorda on the map after he was handpicked by a star-studded selection panel that included former India Captain and Arjuna Awardee Bruno Coutinho and the late great Goan wing wizard Domnic Soares at a talent hunt competition in the state.

The final round where he was selected from thousands as the lone Goan to travel to Germany was held at Don Bosco ground in Panjim. The twenty year-old Quan is happy to have signed a Professional contract for Sporting Goa and excited to be training at Don Bosco.

“This is where I got the opportunity to train abroad and meet future World Cup winners such as Bastian Schweinsteiger and Thomas Meuller, where they presented me with a Bayern Munich signed jersey,” explained Quan.

“After seeing the facilities in Germany it’s easy to see why they are World beaters. The Don Bosco turf reminds me of the pristine pitches I got to play on,” added Quan.

Last season Quan was given his probation period as he represented the Flaming Oranje in the U-19 I-League, which brought many admirers including the SCG President Peter Vaz.

“Quan impressed us with his box to box running and eloquent skills, which includes the Zidane roulette trick. His lack of height is made up for by a good standing jump and his shot from 40 yards also packs a punch,” stated Sporting Goa’s Head of Youth Development Mahesh Lotlikar.

During his formative years Quan has represented Fransa U-14 and Betalbatim Sporting Club U-14 under Coach Eban Mesquita, before joining Salgaocar U-16 where he got an opportunity to play in Thailand after winning the Indian leg of the Manchester United competition.  He also played for Guardian Angel, Curchorem in the GFA 1st Division.

Quan had previously played under Sporting Goa’s current Head Coach Matheus Costa for Dempo Sports Club U-18 and also in the Goa Pro League for Vasco Sports Club.

“The SCG Academy attempts to scout the best talent in Goa. If by chance these players are picked up by other clubs we are patient and wait for them to become available,” reasoned Matheus.

PHOTO: Sporting Goa’s twinkled-toed assassin Quan Gomes gets into the zone during a closed camp.

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Sporting Clube de Goa look to improve Endurance

Sporting Clube de Goa has completed the signing of the 18-year old Nigerian striker Ndidi Chukwuma at the SCG office in Campal, on Saturday.

Ndidi which translates as Endurance in English is the son of SCG official Clifford Chukwuma and the younger brother of Chukwudi who is currently playing his club football in Europe, for FK Teplice in the Czech Republic.

Ndidi has studied and played for the Don Bosco School, in Panjim and is fully acquainted to life in Goa after moving here with his family seven years ago.

“It is great to have you back,” remarked the Don Bosco School Principal Rev Fr. Avin Carvalho. “Ndidi was a hardworking footballer for our School and I am sure he will be successful with Sporting Clube de Goa,” stated Fr. Avin.

By studying at Don Bosco and growing up in a football household has given the well-mannered Ndidi the game intelligence to prosper.

As Ndidi is a foreigner he was not allowed to play in the Goa Football Association age group tournaments, but this has not stifled his progress.

“When my father was coaching Sesa Football Academy, I used to play in some practice matches to get experience,” revealed Ndidi.

Ndidi is a Manchester United supporter and his favourite player is Cristiano Ronaldo. Ndidi was excited in 2012 to travel to Bangalore for training under the Coaches from Old Trafford after impressing in a talent hunt competition.

He has also won the SAG U-16 tournament with his School, after being put through his paces by Don Bosco PE teacher Francis Raposa.

“In Indian football we usually recruit foreign players based on a short trial or a recommendation, but we have seen Ndidi grow up and recognise his potential,” reasoned Sporting Goa’s manager Angelo Albuquerque.

Ndidi is the third footballer from Don Bosco in recent weeks to sign for the Flaming Oranje. Akeraj Martins and Isaac Negredo are the other two.

“The signing of Ndidi is in keeping with the policy of Clube President Peter Vaz to groom young talent and give them the opportunities to show case their skills,” stated SCG CEO Victor Fernandes.

PHOTO: (Left to right) SCG Manager Angelo Albuquerque, Ndidi Chukwuma & Don Bosco School Principal Rev. Fr. Avin Carvalho.

Sporting Clube de Goa sign up Sesa quartet

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Sporting Clube de Goa has strengthened their squad with an injection of Goan Youth as they completed the signing of four Sesa F.A. players at the SCG Headquarters in Panjim, on Wednesday.

Ponif Vaz, Myron Pereira, Fayaz Shaikh and Isaac Negredo are the four diamonds that the Flaming Oranje will cut and polish with the hope of taking them to I-League standards.

The 23 year old stopper, Ponif who hails from Fatorda has grown up watching Sporting Goa at the PJN Stadium and is delighted to be signing for SCG. “I want to cement my place in the Sporting Goa team and hope it becomes a catalyst for playing for the Indian national team,” reasoned Ponif.

Ponif joined Sesa at 16 and has got three years of experience playing in the Goa Pro League. The highlight of his career was winning the Gold Medal at the Lusiofonia games with the Goa-India team last year. Ponif started his youth career with Salcete FC and has been part of the Goa Santosh trophy team for the last two years.

Myron, the 20 year old Nuvem based stopper, played for Salgaocar U-14 before enrolling with Sesa at 16, with whom he won the Taca Goa U-20 League in 2013. “After Sesa withdrew the senior team it was a nervous time for us, but I thank the Sporting Clube de Goa management for giving us this opportunity,” informed Myron.

21 year old goalkeeper Fayaz is from Cuncolim and has represented Goa at the Santosh trophy this year which was a proud moment for him. “Representing Goa was an amazing feeling. I am now looking forward to playing for Sporting Clube de Goa,” said Fayaz.

The 19 year old right back, Isaac studied at Don Bosco School in Panjim and played for the Don Bosco Oratory at U-14 and U-16 level. He later moved to the Vasco Sports Club U-18 side and eventually on to Sesa. “I am pleased to be back training at Don Bosco with Sporting Goa,” stated Isaac.

PHOTO: (Left to right) Sporting Clube de Goa’s new signings Ponif, Isaac, Fayaz and Myron.

Akeraj graduates to Sporting Goa senior team

Akeraj graduates to Sporting Goa senior team

The young speedy striker Akeraj Martins created Sporting History on Friday after becoming the first player to graduate to the Sporting Clube de Goa senior side after representing all the SCG age group Academy teams namely U-14, U-16, U-18, U-19 and U-20.

Akeraj was elated with the promotion. Speaking after signing Professional terms with his boy-hood club at the SCG Headquarters said “My dream is finally turning into reality. I will work hard in training and take my opportunities when they come.”

Akeraj turned 18 just a fortnight ago and could become the youngest player to don the famous Flaming Oranje jersey when the Goa Pro League kicks off next month.

“Akeraj has shown tremendous maturity over the years which allowed the club to let him play with an older age group to keep challenging him and continue his long term development. He has also captained the various teams’ right up to the U-19 I-League on numerous occasions,” stated Sporting Goa’s Manager Angelo Albuquerque.

Local boy Akeraj hails from Don Paula and studies at Don Bosco in Panjim which has made his transition through the SCG ranks a smooth one. He fondly remembers coming to School as a youngster and watching the Sporting Goa senior team train on a daily basis which inspired him to reach for the stars.

For his School he has won a lot of silver-ware, where he trained under the dedicated PE teacher Francis Raposa who taught him the fundamentals of football and discipline. The highlight for Akeraj was winning the Mir Iqbal Hussein U-15 trophy.

Apart from supporting Sporting Clube de Goa, Akeraj also follows Manchester United in the EPL and his favourite player is the mercurial Wayne Rooney. Although Akeraj is not the biggest of players, he sure makes up for it with his explosiveness and eye for goal.

Akeraj has proudly represented the state of Goa at various National age group competitions. He has also played in the Gfa 1st division with Panjim Footballers after helping them come up from the 3rd tier of Goan Football.

“The club is delighted with Akeraj’s progress having been with us right from the start of his career. We are happy that our Youth development programme is starting to bear fruit and also fulfil our President Peter Vaz’s aspirations of promoting Goan talent,” commented Sporting Clube de Goa’s CEO Victor Fernandes.

“We are hoping Akeraj can become a role model for more students to transform their passion into a profession and play for Sporting Clube de Goa,” stated Don Bosco Principal Rev FR. Avin Carvalho.

Sporting Clube de Goa sign Sandesh Jhingan

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Sporting Clube de Goa sign Sandesh Jhingan

With an aim to strengthen their back line, Sporting Clube de Goa has completed the signing of robust defender Sandesh Jhinghan after the transfer was given the green signal by the Aiff on Saturday afternoon.
Having practiced with the club for the past few days, Sandesh has flown with the team to Mumbai, where the Flaming Oranje will meet Sandesh’s former club, Mumbai FC on Sunday.
The 21 year old was a revelation in the ISL for Kerala Blasters, where he was named as the Emerging Player of the tournament.
Despite getting many offers from other clubs including in Europe, Sandesh decided to sign for Sporting Goa as he was wanted to join an ambitious club. “After receiving a lot of interest from many respected clubs, I decided to join Sporting Clube de Goa as I wanted to align with their ambitious vision,” explained Sandesh.
“I also have a lot of friends at the Clube,” added Sandesh, referring to the Sporting Goa players he met while part of the India U-23 team last year.
Standing 6 feet 2, the tall defender started his professional career with United Sikkim where he helped the team get promoted to the I-League, along with Baichung Bhutia and company in 2012.
The same year he managed to score Sikkim’s only goal in a 1-2 loss to Sporting Goa in the I-League, which registered his name in the club’s scouting database. He later moved on to Mumbai FC, before joining Kerala Blasters.

Brandon Fernandes signs for Sporting Clube de Goa

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Brandon Fernandes signs for Sporting Clube de Goa

It’s been a long anxious wait but it has finally paid off. Young Goan football talent Brandon Fernandes has been given clearance to play for Sporting Clube de Goa who he has been training with since September. The International transfer certificate came a few days back and the club has now completed the registration with the Aiff today.

It was one year ago that Brandon Fernandes scored to help usher Goa-India to a thrilling 3-2 victory over Mozambique and clinch the Lusofonia football gold medal. It was a proud moment for the whole of Goa.

For someone who made his debut in the Gfa age group league at the age of nine, the last 365 days has been very unusual for Brandon as he has not played a single professional match, after frustratingly waiting for International clearance from South Africa.

Brandon’s career started at a very young age where he played for the youth teams of Fransa and Velsao Pale, before making the move to Salgaocar where he started to gain a reputation as a promising talent. He represented Goa and later India at nearly all the age categories from thirteen to nineteen.

In 2008 when Manchester United ran a skills competition in Goa, Brandon finished on top of the pile which saw him travel to the theatre of dreams at Old Trafford, in England where he stormed into the top ten in the skills category amongst a host of players from top nations.

Brandon came back to Goa and continued to make headlines through his exploits on the field with club and country, also scooping accolades and recognition as a young sportsman by winning BIG FM and Geno awards. In 2010 his talent caught the attention of the ASD Academy, Cape Town in South Africa.

It was not easy leaving his friends and family behind, but his rather ambitious nature encouraged him to pack his bags and follow his heart. During his stint in South Africa he would come back to represent the national team. He eventually played for Salt Water Blackpool in the South African second division.

His sparkling performances allowed him to travel to Europe and have trials with the likes of Leicester City, Reading and Sunderland in England and also St Mirren in Scotland where he had to come home after sustaining an injury. Although he did not manage to bag the elusive contract in Europe, Brandon believes his experience to date has given him the perfect grounding.

“Having played with foreign players in the academy and on trial, my confidence with the ball has improved. We were shown how to keep the tempo high when attacking which came from lots of repetition in practice,” remarked Brandon.

Brandon’s child hood idol remains to this day as Cristiano Ronaldo, but he now models his game around Spanish attacking midfielder Isco.

Brandon is just as hungry today as when he first kicked a ball and believes despite having a head start over his peers he has a little groundwork to catch up having watched from the stands for the past year.

“I want to thank the Sporting Clube de Goa President Peter Vaz and the Flaming Oranje for giving me this opportunity to reignite my career,” remarked Brandon.

His short term goals are to create assists and score goals for Sporting Goa and play his part in helping the team win major silver-ware. Thinking long term he wants to break into the senior national team and eventually fulfill his dream of playing abroad.

“Brandon is a bright young Goan talent, we had no hesitation in signing him and believe if he can keep his head down and stay motivated he can carve out a long and illustrious career in the game,” stated Sporting Clube de Goa President Peter Vaz.

PHOTO: (Left to Right) Sporting Clube de Goa President Peter Vaz unveils new signing Brandon Fernandes, along with Brandon’s father and GFA Executive member Jaju Fernandes.

Sporting Clube de Goa complete signing of Miguel Garcia

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-SCP Academy Graduate played with Cristiano Ronaldo
-Set to make debut against Dempo

I-League outfit, Sporting Clube de Goa completed their four foreigner quota after signing Portuguese defender Miguel Angelo Moita Garcia at Don Bosco ground, Panjim, over the weekend.
Miguel is familiar to Indian football having recently played in the ISL tournament for North East United, although he admits Goa is a little bit warmer than the North East. “When I first came to the North East it was very cool, but soon started to warm up after the first month. Goa’s temperature is even hotter, but I will acclimatize.
Miguel was part of the world famous Sporting Clube de Portugal Academy from the age of fourteen. “In Portugal it was an honour to play for the Sporting Club of Portugal and similarly I was attracted to the name and Infrastructure of my new club as they promote a Sporting culture in Goa,” stated Miguel.
Miguel started his career as a right back and has now established himself as a centre back, where he will be mostly utilized for the Flaming Oranje.
Miguel is a couple of weeks shy of his 32nd birthday, but can remember his teenage years fondly where he roomed and Schooled with the likes of Cristiano Ronaldo, Nani and Ricardo Quaresma at SCP. As a defender, Miguel had to face the fancy footwork of these formidable wing wizards in training which sharpened his skills, especially his concentration and alertness.
Miguel won the Taca de Portugal with SCP in 2007, but the fondest memories of his career to date are the two Uefa Europa League runners up medals he has picked up. The first came in 2005 when SCP narrowly lost out to CSKA Moscow. The second time was playing for Sporting Braga in 2011, where they were beaten by Portuguese rivals FC Porto.
Miguel has also played in Italy for Reggina, in Turkey for Orduspor and in Spain for Mallorca. The other Portuguese outfit he has turned out for was Olhanense.
“Miguel has played against the top strikers in the world from Alan Shearer to Radamel Falcao. His recent stint in India shows he has the proven credentials to adapt and excel. He also has strong leadership qualities also which is important,” remarked Sporting Clube de Goa President Peter Vaz.
Miguel looks certain to make his debut against Panjim rivals Dempo Sports Club in the I-League on Tuesday.

PHOTO: Sporting Clube de Goa President Peter Vaz welcomes Miguel to the club at the training ground, in Don Bosco Panjim.