India’s 19-year-old Goan sensation Brandon Fernandes believes that the upcoming IMG-Reliance promoted Indian Super League (ISL) is the ideal playground for him to demonstrate his abilities despite being overlooked for the Indian national team with regards to the 2014 Asian Games.
Speaking on the sidelines JP D'Mello soccer final hosted in Kuwait, where he was a special invitee by the Kuwait-India Football Federation (KIFF), Fernandes seemed unperturbed by not gaining headway into the national coach Wim Koevermans’ plans with the squad for the upcoming games in South Korea.
“My club in South Africa is in touch with me for the renewal of the contract but right now I am eyeing the ISL (Indian Super League) which I feel is the best international platform to showcase my talent. However, I will keep my fingers crossed and wait for an opportune time to make the next move," said a confident Brandon to The Times of India.
Fernandes, who helped the Goa-India contingent win the gold medal at the Lusofonia Games that were held in India earlier this year, has been flooded with a wide array of offers from clubs around the country, who had indeed been monitoring him for an extended period of time. However, he along with the African Soccer Development (ASD), Cape Town, believes his future lies in the European strata.
"If you looked at Brandon during the Lusofonia Games you could tell that he was a cut above the rest. He is a special talent," elucidated a top-tier coach on the talent, who has represented the Indian national team at all age groups form the U13’s through to the U19’s.
Brandon had earlier spent two-week trials at Sunderland, Reading and Leicester City in England.
Questioned on why Brandon hadn’t represented his country yet, his father Jaju, explained, "I was told that he was not selected because he was not playing for any club in the country.”
Koevermans had indeed given Fernandes an opportunity to shine at a camp held in Bengaluru, however a hip injury meant the young turk couldn’t perform at his optimum best, which resulted in his subsequent dropping.
Yet, with the ISL around the corner Fernandes will be fully aware of his opportunity to finally expose his talent on the big stage.