FC Goa's Mandar Rao Dessai - Football has improved a lot after ISL

The winger has been appointed club captain as he aims to lead the charge of the Gaurs...

Fans love to resonate their football club with a local player and Mandar Rao Dessai stands out as a glaring example for FC Goa ever since the inception of the Indian Super League (ISL).

With the 2018-19 season upon us, there is added responsibility on the winger as he has been named club captain. "People like to see a local player do well. I have always been training very hard. I try to perform what the coach expects from me. This has helped me to develop as a player.

Players know their duties well, both on and off the field. The senior and international players have also helped me a lot. Players from various countries have come to play and I have learned something from each one of them," said the 26-year-old.

Having been a constant at FC Goa since the first year, Dessai also discussed how the ISL has helped improve the game in his state. "Football has improved a lot after ISL. A lot of work is being done at the grassroots level.

"The club has been trying to build grassroots from day one, people and kids are interested and coming in large numbers. It is important to have development at the grassroots level so that Indian football improves," he opined.

The Virat Kohli co-owned club were knocked out in the playoffs the previous season in Sergio Lobera's first as a manager, after succeeding the legendary Zico to the post, who was at FC Goa for three editions.

Romeo Fernandes Mandarrao Desai Delhi Dynamos FC FC Goa ISL Season 4 2017/2018

Mandar made a comparison between the two; he said, "Zico knew his players well. The players understood his style which was good for him and the players did not take much time to adapt. The new coach also did the same thing. He brought the players he knew so it was easier for him to implement his style.

"In choosing Indian players in the draft he got the players he wanted as he had done a lot of research on the players he wanted to sign. The last season was good enough and all the fans enjoyed our style of play.

"The Spanish style of play is more like keeping the ball whereas Brazilians like to go forward all the time. Here it is completely different as we keep the ball more and when we get the right chance we just go in and attack."

The former Bengaluru FC man had 39 shots in the last campaign but only two goals to his name. This was something Dessai wanted to work on despite having a lethal attack upfront. " I think the front players were really good and they combined well.

"(Ferran) Coro scored like more than 15 goals and (Manuel) Lanzarote (Now ATK) also scored a lot. Other players like Brandon (Fernandes) and (Ahmed) Jahouh also contributed to the score-sheet positively.

"Every player wants to score who plays up front, I will try my best to score goals this year."