ISL 2017: FC Goa's pre-season preparations off to an early start

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The Goan franchise of the Indian Super League (ISL), FC Goa, have already begun their preparations for the coming season with the team's Goan players taking part in a special fitness program at the Chowgule grounds in Margao.

Having signed as many as eight players from the coastal state, the club's fitness coach Manuel Saybera has drawn up a physical endurance regime with assistant coach Derrick Pereira overlooking the proceeding.

FC Goa's local contingent includes Laxmikant Kattimani and Mandar Rao Dessai, retained before the domestic draft, and the draft signings - namely Brandon Fernandes, Seriton Fernandes, Pratesh Shirodkar, Jovel Martins, Anthony D'Souza and Bruno Colaco.

Other than the above named, Pronay Halder is the only outstation player who has been called up for a rehabilitation curriculum under club physiotherapist R Venkatesh. The India international has been out of action for over six months as his last appearance came in Mohun Bagan's 3-1 win at home over DSK Shivajians on February 18 in last season's I-League.

Head coach Sergio Lobera Rodriguez and the rest of the players are expected to arrive around the end of September when the full-scale preparations are likely to begin. 

Derrick Pereira - Head Coach DSK Shivajians

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Meanwhile, the head of youth development Derrick Pereira has the assistance of Clifford Miranda in leading FC Goa's developmental squad into the AWES Cup in September which will be followed by their participation in the Goa Pro League. Miranda was part of the playing squad in the inaugural edition of the ISL in 2014 and after 15 years at Dempo SC, he last appeared for I-League club Churchill Brothers.

Having been included in the 34-member squad announced by the Indian national team coach Stephen Constantine for the recently concluded Tri-Nation Football Series in which the Blue Tigers emerged victorious, FC Goa's Narayan Das and Manvir Singh partook in the international friendlies against Mauritius (2-1) and St. Kitts & Nevis (1-1).