Two boys from the Goa Football Development Council (GFDC) Residential Academy, Margao are selected to represent the India men’s team in U-15 SAFF Championship which will take place from October 25 to November 3 at the ANFA Complex in Kathmandu, Nepal. In the group of 25 boys selected the two Goan lads are Harsh Patre (midfielder) and Frevino Fernandes (goalkeeper).

The duo was attending a trial camp for the National team from September 27 at KIIT University Guest House Bhubaneswar, Odisha.

It is a proud moment for GFDC that was formed in 2012 by Chief Minister, Manohar Parrikar for the development of football.

The Chairman of GFDC, Dr. Rufino Monteiro expressed immense happiness over this news. After taking over as Chairman in March 2012, he began working with his team to promote grassroots football development in the state which was and continues to be the need of the hour. If we are to attain glory for Indian and Goan football this being well documented in leading footballing nations like Spain, Belgium, Germany and today our stand is vindicated

“I am happy that two of our boys have been selected for the National U-15 Football team. Three more trainees had attended the training at Odisha and have been called back for a further training and look in for the U-15 National team. All these boys have been with us at the grassroots centres from the start and then made a cut to get into our Residential Academy team. This grassroots programme will unearth many more jewels from the mines of Goan football,” told Dr. Rufino.

Both the boys were training under the guidance of Academy Head Coach and Technical In charge of GFDC, Derryl D’Souza.

The GFDC Member Secretary, Alexio Da Costa is extremely pleased that they have crossed the first milestone in giving the Goan youth a chance in the U-15 SAFF Championship. “It is a dream come try for every Goan after the debacle of the U-17 World Cup team selection. In such a short time GFDC has proved and brought Goans up to a level where they are second to none in the country.  Credit goes to my entire technical staff, coaches, grounds man and other have made this possible,” said Costa.

The father of Harsh Patre displayed immense happiness and was overjoyed that his son has made a place for himself in the India U-15 team. He also thanked GFDC for the coaching and apt platform provided to his son to hone his footballing skills. “I feel proud that my son has done it. It is like a dream come true for the family and Goa. He has always been very hard working and deserves to make it big. He should continue to play with the same momentum,” said Shailesh Patre with tears of joy.

While Derryl D’Souza also praised the efforts and dedication put in by the boys during training. “There is no substitute for hard work. This is just the beginning,” he said.