Talented Brandon Fernandes signs for Sporting Clube de Goa
It's been a long anxious wait but it has finally paid off. Young Goan football talent Brandon Fernandes has been given clearance to play for Sporting Clube de Goa who he has been training with since September 2014. The International transfer certificate came a few days back and the club has now completed the registration with the AIFF today.
It was one year ago that Brandon Fernandes scored to help usher Goa-India to a thrilling 3-2 victory over Mozambique and clinch the Lusofonia football gold medal. It was a proud moment for the whole of Goa.
Exploits of a prodigy
For someone who made his debut in the GFA age group league at the age of nine, the last 365 days has been very unusual for Brandon as he has not played a single professional match, after frustratingly waiting for International clearance from South Africa.
Brandon's career started at a very young age where he played for the youth teams of Fransa and Velsao Pale, before making the move to Salgaocar where he started to gain a reputation as a promising talent. He represented Goa and later India at nearly all the age categories from thirteen to nineteen.
In 2008 when Manchester United ran a skills competition in Goa, Brandon finished on top of the pile which saw him travel to the Theatre of Dreams at Old Trafford, in England where he stormed into the top ten in the skills category amongst a host of players from top nations.
Brandon came back to Goa and continued to make headlines through his exploits on the field with club and country, also scooping accolades and recognition as a young sportsman by winning BIG FM and Geno awards. In 2010 his talent caught the attention of the ASD Academy, Cape Town in South Africa.
It was not easy leaving his friends and family behind, but his rather ambitious nature encouraged him to pack his bags and follow his heart. During his stint in South Africa he would come back to represent the national team. He eventually played for Salt Water Blackpool in the South African second division.
Trials at Leicester and Sunderland
His sparkling performances allowed him to travel to Europe and have trials with the likes of Leicester City FC, Reading FC and AFC Sunderland in England and also St Mirren in Scotland where he had to come home after sustaining an injury. Although he did not manage to bag the elusive contract in Europe, Brandon believes his experience to date has given him the perfect grounding.
"Having played with foreign players in the academy and on trial, my confidence with the ball has improved. We were shown how to keep the tempo high when attacking which came from lots of repetition in practice," remarked Brandon.
Brandon's childhood idol remains to this day Cristiano Ronaldo, but he now models his game around Spanish attacking midfielder Isco.
Brandon is just as hungry today as when he first kicked a ball and believes despite having a head start over his peers he has a little groundwork to catch up having watched from the stands for the past year.
"I want to thank the Sporting Clube de Goa President Peter Vaz and the Flaming Oranje for giving me this opportunity to reignite my career," remarked Brandon.
His short-term goals are to create assists and score goals for Sporting Goa and play his part in helping the team win major silverware. Thinking long term he wants to break into the senior national team and eventually fulfill his dream of playing abroad.
"Brandon is a bright young Goan talent, we had no hesitation in signing him and believe if he can keep his head down and stay motivated he can carve out a long and illustrious career in the game," stated Sporting Clube de Goa President Peter Vaz.