The Goa Football Development Council (GFDC) inaugurated its 35th training centre at Maina-Curtorim in association with Maina Sports Club at St. Rita Church ground. A total of 200 trainees have already enrolled at the centre.

Today, GFDC has 35 grassroots centres to promote the official sport of Goa and train kids between the age group of 6 to 14 years. Over 4000 young football enthusiastic from across the state of Goa are frequent goers to the GFDC centres set up at their respective localities, majority of these centres being situated in the hinterland areas. There are 100 odd coaches to assist and mould these kids to become better footballers.

Speaking at the function, the Deputy Chief Minister and Sports Minister, Manohar Ajgaonkar said that GFDC was formed to take football forward in the state.

“Football is our state sport and it is in the blood of every Goan. We want footballing talent in the state to be nurtured and moulded. There are many grounds in the state but the game is not moving forward. Slowly we will see star players coming from these GFDC centres. We want children to do well in sports and education. The kids living in rural villages are talented in sports but lacking in the field of education. Sports policy was made by me so students weak in education can avail marks through representation in sports,” said Ajgaonkar.

While the Curtorim MLA, Aleixo Reginaldo Lourenco who presided over the function pointed out that they have been trying to start a GFDC centre at Maina-Curtorim since long.

“My support was also there to start a GFDC centre here. I spoke to the GFDC officials, Sports Minister and finally we managed to start this centre but faced a lot of difficulties in the process. There was no ground available for training also. I would like to ask the trainees to represent India someday as football is not only FC Goa,” said Lourenco.

While the Member Secretary GFDC, Aleixo da Costa said it was a proud moment to inaugurate a grassroots football centre at Maina- Curtorim and hopes to see it become one of the best centres.

“GFDC was formed in 2012 by Ex-CM, Manohar Parrikar to develop the game of football. GFDC is striving to develop football at the grassroots level. From Morjim to Canacona and from Sanguem to Vasco we have 35 centres. Over 4,000 trainees are enrolled with us who get a full time coach, nutrition and football kit. Whatever the trainees need for coaching we give them free of cost. It gives us immense happiness to see the growth of these boys,” said Costa.

“Four boys have been selected for the India U-16 team. Fruits of GFDC will be seen over the next three to four years. Out of the 30 boys who graduated from our residential academy all of them have joined professional Clubs such as Dempo SC, Sporting Clube de Goa, FC Goa, Salgaocar FC,” he added.

Also present at the occasion were the village panchayat members, students and sports enthusiasts.