With all our youth teams starting their 2018-2019 season as early as July, the Academy Team kicked-off their pre-season programme in June and have only played one game. The U14 outfit had three of their fixtures postponed. This is frustrating for both the Technical Teams and their charges.
I feel for the staff having started our planning prior to the closure of the 2017-2018 season.
We have assembled a new U14 non-residential squad to replace the Academy Team, with the former Head Coach of the U16 team Pradip Chopdekar now at the helm of the U14 Team and assisted by Sachin Gawas. The former Salgocar midfield dynamo was assistant to Anthony D’Souza whose team annexed the GFA U18 League last season.
Former Head Coach of the U14 residential Academy team has been promoted to do duty in U16 tournaments this season. They were crowned 2017-2018 GFA League Champions and won I-League State stage.
The Senior Youth Squad have promoted four players to the 1st. team and have been further strengthened with recruitments of eight players who under-went trials under the watchful eyes of Head Coach, Anthony D’Souza. This season he will be assisted by former Dempo legend, Melvyn Rodrigues.
To add to the frustration arranging friendly games is not easy to coordinate, the downside is the lack of games which will affect match fitness in our pursuit to emulate the 2017-2018 season.
Senior Youth Head Coach, Anthony D’Souza sharing technical/tactical advice with his players during one of his sessions during his pre-season programme.