The Goan summer may be climbing off its zenith, as the monções Junho fast approaches, and one of India's best talents from the Konkan state is relishing a change in the weather, not just in terms of atmospheric conditions, but also in terms of the football scenario currently enveloping his team.
Mandar Rao Desai's performances in the second division of the I-League were always going to be pivotal for two reasons - he was looking to push a horrendous season with the Golden Eagles to the back-burner, one where he was relegated winning just three games with his team, whilst on the personal front, he made 14 appearances for his team, scoring no goals.
A good Indian Super League (ISL) stint with FC Goa, wherein he scored three goals in 15 appearances in the Gaurs' road to the final, saw him finally bring about an upturn to his disappointing season.
Now back into the big time, his confidence was reflected with his analysis for Dempo SC's hopes in the I-League next season, as he proclaimed, "We are looking forward to winning the I-league next year. We have some good players and with the addition of few foreigners, we will challenge for the title."
"We worked very hard throughout the season and put in some good performances. Our goal was to get back in the I-League and we achieved it," revealed a beaming Mandar, when asked him as to how achieving promotion felt.
The 24-year-old Goan native alluded to the importance he carried on his shoulders for the team, stating, "I am happy with my performances. Everyone in the team looks up to me in expectation and I am happy that I delivered."
The tete-a-tete quickly turned to his future with the ISL side FC Goa, as he expressed he was keeping his cards close to his chest despite having initiated talks with the Goan team. It must be noted that Desai is contracted with Dempo until the end of 2016-17 season.
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"Yes, I did discuss with them but because of the fines and legal procedures they are holding back (from offering me a concrete contract). I am free now that Dempo are back in the I-League and I'm looking to sort out my position in the ISL. Nothing (concrete) has come in from their end yet because of the fine and other things the club is facing. Let's see where I sign," he expressed.
The vicenarian also confirmed he has been approached to participate in the ISL, in the colours of other teams.
"Yes, I have offers from mostly all the clubs in the ISL but let's see what happens. Three months to go for the ISL, so I want to take my time and choose," he explained.
"FC Goa have signed just three players as off now. Other clubs have signed most of the players and I have offers from other clubs as well but my preference is FC Goa since I have played here. I will wait for their offer and then make a decision," concluded the winger, who has made all of one appearance for the Indian U23 side, indicating a clear preference for the team that nurtured him.