Sporting Clube de Goa start pre-season practice amidst uncertainty over I-League future

The Flaming Oranje has been at the center of the controversy for some time now, but have hit the training ground again.

A couple of weeks ago, Goan clubs Salgaocar and Sporting Clube de Goa released a joint statement announcing that they will not be taking part in the ensuing edition of the I-League.

However, the Goan clubs will be taking part in the Goa Professional League and Sporting kick-started their preparation for the competition on Thursday as the squad took part in a training session at the Miramar beach in Panaji. 

The core of the young Indian contingent has been retained by the club, who have the likes of Ravi Kumar, Victorino Fernandes, Glan Martins and Ganesh Thakur in their ranks. The club has also secured the services of young central back Subhasish Bose and midfielder Seriton Fernandes, both of whom had been loaned from Churchill Brothers last year. However, the side has not been able to lure promising winger Nicholas Fernandes, who was the highest scoring U-22 player of the last I-League.

The players who had come on loan, including the likes of Dharamraj Ravanan and Mehrajuddin Wadoo have left, while Creson Antao has also parted ways. Rowllin Borges, Pratesh Shirodkar and Sumeet Passi will play in the ISL, but the management hope at least two of them will return to the club for the second half of the season.

The club have decided to retain the services of Loveday Okechukwu, who will join the team later this month, while the search is on for another foreigner. The club has been approached to take part in Durand Cup, the country's oldest football competition, but a final decision is yet to be made.

The curtain-raiser of the season is expected to be held on 14th this month, with Sporting taking part in a charity match organized by the Goa Football Association (GFA).