One of the few regional leagues to have contributed significantly to Indian football ever since its inception, is the Goa Professional League (GPL). Many players have made the switch from the GPL to the ISL or I-League and have performed exceptionally well.
To mention a few players, FC Goa's Brandon Fernandes and Mandar Rao Dessai have both been a part of the Goan league before donning the national colours. The GPL has established itself as one of the inventories of Indian football, rendering several top-notch players.
One of the most promising players of the ISL this season, Jessel Carneiro, had shone in the Goa Professional League before being signed up by the Kerela Blasters.
This season too, the league has seen many players put on exceptional performances. Here we list 3 of them who deserve the cut into ISL sides.
#3 Sanson Pereira
The Salgaocar FC captain has dazzled countless times this season with his performances. Reports of FC Goa handing the youngster a contract have already emerged.
The sturdy left-back made his debut in senior football in 2017, and has since been an indispensable part of Salgaocar. His talent is evident from the words of Salgaocar head coach Levino Anthony Pereira in an interview with Goa Herald-
He (Sanson) is one of the most hardworking player in the team and I can justify this as I have seen his growth. There is no doubt that he is a good defender but he is equally good in attack. His dangerous ball crossing sets him apart from the rest
The left-back is known for his high work-rate, contributing to both the defence and attack in equal measure. The Salgaocar youth product is an aerial threat, as well as an excellent crosser of the ball. With reports of FC Goa's Mandar Rao Desai departing for Mumbai City FC emerging, the 22-year-old might just be the next big thing emerging from the GPL.
#2 Leander D'Cunha
Another full-back who caught the attention of many in the GPL has been D'Cunha. The talented right-back, who can also play as a centre-back, represents the FC Goa Reserves, and is also their skipper. He is known primarily for his explosive overlapping runs, and deadly crosses.
In 17 matches this season, D'Cunha played every minute, showing his tremendous fitness level. Despite being used more as a defensive full-back, the lad managed to score two goals and provided an assist as well. There is a strong belief that the 22-year-old will make his debut for the first team this season.
#1 George D'Souza
When one talks about the most exciting prospects of Indian football to keep an eye on, Sporting Clube de Goa's George D'Souza will surely top the list. The reliable left-back, who can also play as a centre-back, has been a revelation in this season's GPL.
A dead-ball specialist, the 26-year-old can also play on the wings, which is an exhibition of his fierce attacking capabilities. D'Souza has also been his team's top scorer this season. His versatility and goal-scoring prowess will surely attract suitors from the ISL as his contract with Sporting expires this season.Published 14 Apr 2020, 03:03 IST