Goa zone of U-19 I-League is about to commence and with Goa being considered as one of the best football hubs in India all eyes will be in the zone to see budding stars of the future. The Goa zone will have 5 participants, Dempo Sports Club, Salgaocar Football Club, Churchill Brothers Sports club, Sporting Clube de Goa and SESA Football Academy. The group winner will get qualify for the final round of I-League. Here we look at five brightest prospects from the zone.
Sahil Tavora (Dempo Sports Club)
A product of Brasil Football Academy, midfielder Sahil Tavora is not only the best at the club but also one of the best in the country. The midfielder has grabbed the limelight after a sensational performance in Lusofonia Games. He is considered to be one of the best players of his age in Goa and he made headlines when Dempo signed him from the SESA football Academy. Sahil had grabbed the attention of everyone during his exploits in GFA age group leagues playing for Brasil Football Academy. His first half display with SESA in his debut season was enough to convince Dempo Sports Club to sign him. The teenager is good at holding the game and distributing the ball. His penetrating runs in the middle of the park against a Mozambique U-21 team were delighted to watch. He would be one of the nemeses for opposition in the league. His partnership with Nickson Castanha and Deryl Endro in the heart of Dempo midfield is certainly one to watch out for.
Meldon D’Silva (Dempo Sports Club)
Meldon D’Silva was largely an unknown boy who with his hard work and excellent display in Goa Pro League playing for Wilfred Lisure earned himself a place in Lusofonia Squad. His hard work certainly paid off when he scored opening goal in the finals against Mozamqbiue through a header. The strong centre back was impressive at the back and his calmness on the ball earned him loads of fans. His marvellous display for Goa-India and for Wilfried Leisure senior team in the Goa pro League was enough for him to get signed by one of the top 4 in Goan Football. This will be a fresh start for young Meldon. Playing in much higher reputed clubs will give a good opportunity for him to improve his skills. His presence at the back will make Dempo Sports club’s defence very strong.
Olvin Cardozo (SESA Football Academy)
One rarely see an Indian player scoring 25 goals in a season in Indian Football. But SESA Football Academy’ s highly rated striker Olvin Cardozo is an exception. The striker was in rampaging form last season and notched up 25 goals. Having played for senior team Goa Pro- League. 2013-14 as well will give him an extra bit of confidence going in U-19 League. He played in last season U-19 I League and scored a couple of goals. He is experienced now and that makes him even more lethal. His presence upfront will certainly keep rival defense on toes throughout the 90 minutes of the game.
Lesten Martins (Sporting Clube de Goa)
Sporting Clube de Goa has garnered lots of applause to promote young talent. Lesten Martins is one of the highly rated players in Sporting Clube de Goa setup. The teenager was among headlines when he was selected to train with the Lieceter city football club. The experience of playing with one of the reputed clubs in England will have done a world of good for Lesten Martins. According to the coaching staff at the English club, Lesten is a technically gifted player. Martins has played for the senior team in Goa pro league and has the experience of playing against physically stronger defenders. His pace and dribbling skills is his asset. He will be a thorn in the flesh for opposition when he is in full form. Martin’s experience will play huge role in success of Sporting colts.
Mauvin Borges (Sporting Clube de Goa)
Mauvin Borges may not look threatening off the field, but when he is on the field he is a threat to the opposition defenders. The former SESA Football Academy product will become the first player to play for two different clubs in U-19 I-league. The winger was top goal scorer in last season U-19 I-League. Mauvin already made his debut in I-league for Sporting clube de Goa senior team. He would be a key player in the team. Sporting Clube de Goa colts have a lot of experience in the team and Mauvin has to play a role of leader up front. He will definitely look to repeat his performance last year and become a top goal scorer once again.
Other notable mentions include Salgaocar quartet of Albino Gomes, Rayman Fernandes, Albino Pereira and Jos vaz. Rayman Fernandes who is also part of the senior team is one of the best midfielders in his age group. SESA midfielder Glan Martins who was sent to USA for USL Pro selection trials in the month of January’2014 will draw a lot of interest as will his club mate defender George D’souza who was part of the Goa-India team for Lusofonia Games.