Players To Watch – Sporting Clube De Goa Striker Victorino Fernandes

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Victorino Fernandes
Club: Sporting Clube de Goa
Country: India
Age: 22 (3 February 1989)
Position: Striker
Jersey Number: 37

Victorino Fernandes started his football career at the age 17 in an amateur circuit playing in an inter-village competition, at Assolda-Chandor, located around 10 km away from Margao city in South Goa.

In the same year, he was selected to represent Salgaocar age group side, while he pursued moving up the ladder. After toiling hard for a year in the second division Goa league, he made his way into the first division in 2008.

He got into troubled waters when he was suspended by the Player Status Committee of Goa Football Association (GFA) for signing for two clubs.

Fernandes had an existing contract with Sporting Clube de Goa when he signed for Dempo Sports Club, resulting in a ban from all football activities that kept him from making his I-League debut two years ago.

However, before facing his punishment, he did feature for Sporting in the JRD Youth Cup (U-19) where he scored a couple of goals included a hat-trick against Mahindra United (now disbanded).

"I could not play football for two years," the soft-spoken Goan told but refused to blame anyone in his suspension row.

Skipping the topic, he continued, "I played for Santa Cruz club of Cavelossim in the first division [Goa league] last year, who are now in the [Goa] professional league.

"Salgaocar had approached me with an offer to play for them, but I signed for Sporting Clube de Goa in June," he added.

Victorino Fernandes |
Happy to play... happy to score... happy to win...

Victorino Fernandes finally made his debut in the I-League 2011-12 and showed glimpses of his skills as he scored a brace in Sporting's 4-3 win over Shillong Lajong in his third match.

"I am very happy as this is my first time in the I-League, the first time I scored in the I-League and the first time I won the man of the match in the I-League. More than that, I'm glad that I could contribute to the team's win," he said.

The 22-year-old is also the joint top scorer with Dempo's Koko Sakibo in the Goa Pro League scoring six goals in seven matches, while making it in the top 10 I-League goalscorers at the end of round three.

Setting his target for the season, Victorino stated that he would like to be one of the top scorers and also pledged his allegiance with his current club.

"I want to be the top scorer... be among the top five goal scorers. It's an added motivation when you get to play against big clubs like Salgaocar and Dempo.

"My first preference will remain to play for a club where I can play regular football. At the moment, I am happy with my chances at Sporting Clube de Goa. I am only 22 years old and I still have to build my career," he observed.

Victorino Fernandes recalls his role in Goa's Santosh Trophy team where he scored two goals in two matches.

  Memories of a comeback |
A newspaper cutting to serve as a reminder

"I remember the match against Services in the quarterfinal. I was brought as a substitute when we (Goa) were down by two goals and I scored two goals to make it a draw.

"More than that, it is a better feeling when you are able to score goals and end up on the winning side, which I want to do at Sporting now," he added.

What could be better than winning trophies? Victorino Fernandes featured in the Sporting Clube de Goa XI that won the Goa Super Cup, beatings Dempo SC, earlier this year. Although the youngster was benched for most of the Federation Cup campaign.

For any footballer who dreams to play for his country, he says, "I always pray that I will get into the Indian national team in the future."

At a young age of 22, Victorino is also a family man supporting his household with the income he generates from playing football.

"I come from a poor family. At home, my mother is a housewife and my brother who also plays football. My sister is married and my Dad goes to work."

He does not have a very social lifestyle as he claims to help his mother in the daily household duties.

"My girlfriend is very happy to see me on TV," said the Goan lad in a very shy tone with a tinge of laughter. "I'll get married in the next five years."

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