Goa's 25-year-old talent Brandon Fernandes reckons that as he heads towards the peak of his professional football career, the most important thing is to play week in week out. Brandon further admitted that despite losing Miku, Bengaluru FC will give his team a proper title race this season as well.
Indian football is undergoing a change, looking increasingly for footballers who are technically sound. Although the country is still years away from consistently churning out such talents right from the grassroot level, in Brandon, India and FC Goa has already found a midfielder that fits the mould. He has three goals and nine assists from 36 appearances in the ISL — only Udanta Singh has more assists among Indians in the ISL. And under Sergio Lobera’s setup, which offers Indian talents plenty of opportunities, he is likely to thrive even more.
“To me, the important thing is getting chances to play. Now we have six Indian players who are playing. It is better that we have more Indians but having foreigners is also important because it increases the level of football," Brandon told Goal.
"It is very important to be together to be a long time. At FC Goa, we improved as a team and did better. It is only going to make us better, we know what the coach wants from us. We have already played in the system in the last two years," he said.
After a semi-final exit in the first season under Lobera in 2017-18, FC Goa made it to the summit clash last season, but lost to Bengaluru FC, before winning their first-ever trophy by clinching the 2019 Super Cup. This season, they have set out as favourites, besides the defending champions, but Brandon himself is aware of the danger the Bengaluru boys possess.
"Bengaluru is a tough team - they play tactically against us. They try to stop us from (nullify) our strengths. I can't say (if Miku's departure has made Goa favourites), it is too early. Miku is a very good player, he can destroy teams. I think losing Miku is a big blow for Bengaluru but they also have (other) very good Indian and foreign players," Brandon added.