"Coach (Armando Colaco) might have a tough time selecting the squad as we have several top players to choose from. But we got a set wo played in the Federation Cup. So mostly the same players will start," he said at a press conference organised by the Sports Journalist Association of Goa (SJAG).
The Goan side could avail the services of only two of the four foreigners, namely Koko Sakibo and Ryuji Sueoka, at the Federation Cup in which Dempo finished as runners up to East Bengal.
It also has to be recalled that Japanese medio Sueoka who played for Salgaocar FC last season was not fit to play all the matches for his new side as he was unwell.
"We have four foreigners now. Two of them (Koko Sakibo and Ryuji Sueoka) played in the Federation Cup, in addition we'll also have [Rohan] Ricketts, so I don't think we'll have much problem," Almeida added.
"The other two (Ricketts and Stephen Offei) have just joined the team now, so we have to see how their performance in the I-League is going to be.
"The positive is that Koko [Sakibo] was with us last season. Sueoka has played for Salgaocar, so we know his game style," observed the former Dempo left back.
|Too much of Red and Gold|
He also rued the lack of fans' support at the final of the Federation Cup against East Bengal which was played at the Kanchenjunga Stadium in Siliguri that saw a large crowd supporting the Bengal outfit.
"We had a bad experience in Siliguri. There was so much crowd, that even the players were scared to play when Dempo was winning by a goal. In Goa we do not have much support [in the stadium] like how the Bengal teams enjoy," he admitted.
Custodio Almeida went on to shrug off allegations which suggested that the current Dempo squad could see a lot of it's members ageing.
"You must have seen the Federation Cup," he said. "Mahesh Gawli and Climax Lawrence played and both of them scored also. Age is not a problem. We need some experienced players as the youngsters should learn from them. Seven junior players have been included in the senior team this year."
"Romeo Fernandes who was with the India U-19, Aniston Fernandes and Myron Fernandes who had gone to Denmark to train [with FC Midjiland], Mandar Rao Desai and a few others have made the cut.
"We may miss Ranti [Martins] because he was the highest scorer for the last two years, but I hope other players take equal responsibility to score," he concluded.
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