As part of its on-going youth development programme, the Goa Football Association has deputed an under-14 state football team on a tour of Sri Lanka and Portugal.
The 17-day visit will include one match in Colombo, a training camp in Guimaraes and participation in a tournament in Pontinha.
During their stay in Portugal the team will also play against the corresponding youth teams of leading professional clubs like Vitoria de Guimaraes SC and Boavista FC.
Nineteen footballers will represent the under-14 team for the Mariano Barreto tournament to be held in Lisbon. later this The Goa team will be captained by top-notch midfielder Jesvil D’Souza of Pilar while 25-year-old Margao-based Francisco Bruto Da Costa, will be the coach.
The squad presents a balanced look with the cream of Goan Under-14 football talent making it to the final selection of 19 from a pool of 22 youth footballers chosen over various selection trials and training camps under the eye of Da Costa, assisted by Portugal returned Lino Pereira, Soccoro Vaz and goal-keeping coach Virender Singh.
The Goan contingent comprises three goalkeepers in Andey Fernandes, Shilton Fernandes and Ricardo Cardozo. Adney hails from Chandor and is a regular for Velsao Pale SC; Shilton has captained the India U-13 and comes from Navelim; Ricardo from Candolim is the son of former Dempo goalkeeper Eugenio Cardozo. The three goalkeepers have been trained by former international Virender Singh, the goalkeeper coach of Salgaocar SC.
In the defense, there are six players in the backline. Elroy Silva of Goa United and Fernando Colaco of Arlem are both wingbacks; Jesmon Carvalho, who represented India U-13, Melton D’Silva of Salgaocar , Joel Gama from Verna, captain of the state U-14 side in the school nationals and Shane Temudo, from Tivim will form the heart of the defense.
The midfield consists of skipper Jesvil, who attended the India U-16 camp and Brandon Fernandes, Goa U-13 captain and also an U-13 international, along with Enfal Vaz and Michael Silva (both Salgaocar), Lyndon Pereira (Velsao), and Philino Ratos (Goa United) which gives the coach an option to be flexible with his formations.
In the striking line there are four options with Pandhari Chopdekar of Dempo rated as one of the best forwards on the Goa youth scene is known to possess most qualities of an ideal striker. Billu Chavan of Parra is a speedy winger, Hasten D’Costa from Velsao-Pale is one of the rare breed of genuine left-footer, and Myron Fernandes of Goa United, another upcoming striker completes the department.
THE Goa U-14 team
Goalkeepers: Adney Fernandes, Shilton Fernandes, Ricardo Cardozo. Defenders: Jesmon Carvalho, Elroy D’Silva, Shane Temudo, Meldon D’Silva, Joel Menezes Gama, Fernando Colaco. Midfielders: Enfal Vaz, Michael Silva, Lyndon Pereira, Jesvil D’Souza (captain), Brandon Fernandes, Philino Ratos. Strikers: Hasten D’Costa, Myron Fernandes, Billu Chavan, Pandhari Chopdekar.