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ISL feature: Rise again is FC Goa's magic mantra

Juan Ferrando

Bengaluru, November 21: After an impeccable season which saw FC Goa clinch a historic place in the Asian Football Confederation (AFC) Champions League, the Gaurs look to go and win it all in the Indian Super League (ISL) 2020-21 season which got underway.

The year 2020 has thrown the understanding of the word 'normal' into a quandary. With the outbreak of the novel coronavirus (COVID-19), the new season has forced the hands of all and sundry, putting forth a new imagination of the same word - 'normal'.

Like everyone in all corners of the world, who have been affected by the deadly pandemic, this beginning will deliver some much-needed optimism, albeit a cautious one.

When an Indian football fan thinks of FC Goa, the club, the fans and the 'football', it falls under the same plane of conscience. Of course, added is the club's zeal for developing its own stars, focussing on the development of youth and constantly delivering success on the football field.

The beautiful game, for Goans, is not a source for entertainment. It's a way of life. And the land's favourite club embodies this all.

Different pattern

Different pattern

A pattern has emerged over the years. Five appearances in the play-offs in six seasons of the ISL helps cement that.

The Gaurs do not just find a way to reach the play-offs. More often than not, it is a bulldozing run to the top, characterised by high octane, possession-based brand of football that has time and again forced oppositions into submission.

New-look Gaurs

New-look Gaurs

A penchant for taking the initiative has resulted in helping the Gaurs create a niche for themselves in the ISL. With the club philosophy undeterred, one can expect much more of the same in the season to come.

Heading into this new normal is a very different-looking FC Goa team; this time in the reins in the hands of new Spanish head coach, Juan Ferrando. Gone are many who became household names in Goa, the most prominent of them being Ferran Corominas.

Season of change

Season of change

Taking their place is a fresh lot, which includes five new foreign signings. The fresh faces promise to give the Gaurs a whole new dimension - a similar style presented with an entirely different approach and attention to details.

Throughout the pre-season Juan has preached the need to be pliable, having customised solutions to the problems posed by each and every opponent, and different situations that the match presents.

Rise again!

Rise again!

"We would continue to play an attacking brand of football, playing the game on the front foot. That's the philosophy of the club and that's what really attracted me to the job. It's aligned with the kind of football I believe in," said Ferrando.

While time will certainly answer many questions, the Gaurs, like seasons before have left no stone unturned with a view to getting better. ‘Rise Again' is not just a gimmicky hashtag that is normally thrown around like a marketing ragdoll. For the Gaurs, it's their outlook for the season.

(Source: FC Goa Media)

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Story first published: Saturday, November 21, 2020, 12:08 [IST]
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