Four boys from the Goa Football Development Council (GFDC) Residential Academy at Margao have been shortlisted for the U-15 Men’s National Team 2019 camp for trials by the All India Football Federation (AIFF). Harsh Patre, Clarence Fernandes, Frevino Fernandes and Vellington Fernandes will be reporting on February 10 at the camp that is scheduled to be held at Cuttack, Odisha. The selection of these boys at the national level shows the quality training imparted at GFDC in grassroots football in the state. These four boys were earlier part of the India camp from September to January and further shortlisted in the final list for the national trials.

They represented India in the 20 days exposure tour to the UAE and played friendly matches against team liked UAE, Al-Wasal, and Saudi Arabia. Altogether a total of 33 players from across the country have been selected to attend the final trials.

Further Harsh and Frevino has travelled to Nepal for the SAFF U-15 championship to represent India.

A local from Usgao, Frevino Fernandes begun his journey as a goalkeeper at GFDC Khandepar in 2013. He is very excited on being selected to be a part of the national camp. “It is a proud moment to play for the country and I am extremely happy I made it to the final list 23 players. It is a good feeling playing and practicing with players from across India. We will get great exposure from this camp.  I would like to thank my academy coach, Derryl and others who coached me as well as my parents,” said Frevino.

GFDC’s Ace midfielder, Harsh Patre is happy to be shortlisted to attend the camp. He joined GFDC in 2013 at the Mayem centre from where he grew to be a very dedicated and performing player. He has till date participated in three nationals and represented Goa on several occasions. He shared his experience during the UAE exposure trip, “Teams we played against were tough but out of the eight matches we won three, loss three and drew two. We learnt how to deal with the opponent and their thinking. Frevino and me were the only two Goans to be a part of the SAFF Cup at Nepal,” signed off Patre.

While Clarence Fernandes joined GFDC in 2013 and is a very promising player. He plays the position of a defender and was promoted to the residential academy in 2015. The lad from Utorda praises the coaching imparted at GFDC as it was the first place he learnt the basics of football. His forte in the game is his sliding tackles and aggressiveness. He was at the India camp for over three months where he received advance training in football. “Getting promoted from the GFDC Utorda centre and directly getting placed at the GFDC residential academy was an achievement for me.  I was not that good when I joined but with the support of my coaches I have improved my game style. Derryl, who is currently my mentor is very supportive and also encouraging us to do better,” said Clarence.

Another star player from GFDC who has been shortlisted to the final trial is Vellington Fernandes from Quepem. The journey of this midfielder with GFDC begun six years ago and he believes that his selection is the outcome of the time and training invested on him by his coach. He has fond memories of the UAE exposure trip he was recently part of India when he represented the India U-16 team. “The teams in the UAE are not very good but are mentally strong and carry out intelligent play. At the India camp we had a strict schedule to follow which included waking up at 6.00 a.m which as followed by practice which went on for two hours. At the national camp that coaching was more of practical and we got to learn many new things,” said Vellington.