Dempo SC, the Goan club that has envious record of being five-times I-League champion and semifinalist in the AFC Cup, is all set to reconstruct its senior squad before the next football season begins.
Rumours have spread in Indian football fraternity that the Dempo top brass, peeved at its experienced coach Armando Colaco, is planning to terminate his contract after the coach’s 12-year consecutive stint with the club. It is learnt that Derek Pereira who has been the manager of Pune FC for last three years, has finalized a deal with Dempo and will join the team as its senior team manager.
However, Pune FC’s Chief Executive Officer (CEO) Chirag Tanna denied the ongoing rumour and said, “Derek is happy with us. And we already had an informal discussion regarding the next season. If he has finalized any deal with any other club, he would have let me known at least. We never force anybody to stay with us.” On the contrary, Dempo chairman, Mr Srinavas, reacting to the issue, said, “We are yet to discuss over the coach. Before taking any final decision about the coach we will have a final discussion with Colaco himself.”
Whatever decision Dempo bosses take finally, it is true that Dempo bosses are not happy with Armando Colaco. The key reason behind this is the team’s EPL footballer Rohan Ricketts’s allegation on Colaco. Ricketts, complaining against Colaco’s partial attitude towards the players, had to leave the team within a couple of weeks after singing.
Coach’s issue apart, the club’s top bosses have planned to terminate contract of the team’s eight senior footballers in the next season. Srinivas explained, “The average age of our team, for last few seasons, is above 29 years. And that has been causing injuries and finally hampering the performance. Otherwise, we had an excellent start in the I-league this season also. But as the League wore on we began to lose our key footballers due to injuries. And the injuries our footballers have been suffering cannot be recovered fast. So my realization is that we should build up a team that should not have any player whose age is above 30 years unless he is extra-ordinary.”
The club chairman’s statement hints at the team’s senior players like Mahesh Gawli, Climax Lawrence, Samir Naik, Peter Carvalho’s future in the Goan outfit look truly uncertain.
And at the same time, the club is planning to change its all three existing foreign players. Precisely, the club bosses are already in search of a proper replacement of its former striker Ranty Martins.
Srinivas added, saying, “We have not been able replace two of our genuine losses. One is Ranty Martins and another is Roberto Silva (Beto). And looking forward to the next season, we must have to rope in two such quality foreigners who can be a replacement of those two.”