Mandar: It’s always good to play the first match at home

FC Goa and Chennaiyin FC lock horns for their first match of the Hero Indian Super League (Hero ISL) 2019-20 season at the Jawaharlal Nehru Stadium in Goa on Thursday. Both teams would want to make a positive impression in their maiden outing and rake up all three points from the fixture.

Ahead of the match, caught up with Goa skipper Mandar Rao Dessai for a brief chat. Here's what he said.

On the mood in FC Goa camp ahead of the 2019-20 Hero ISL season.

Really excited for the new season. The new players have been practising really hard in the pre-season. They have been performing really well in the friendly games. I guess, they are already getting used to the team and our style of play.

On the importance of starting the season with a home match.

Yes, it’s always good to play the first match at home, because we always have been getting tremendous support from our fans and I know that they will come in large numbers for this game too.

On FC Goa giving youngsters an opportunity to flourish.

Yes, FC Goa has always been promoting players from the developmental team and many Goans have been playing in the team right now. They will always have a chance in future games.

On playing alongside FC Goa players in the Indian national team.

Wearing the (Indian) national team jersey is an amazing feeling. Playing with my teammates, Brandon (Fernandes) and Manvir (Singh) has been great. They’ve been working really hard. They’ve been doing well in the last season and hence we got a chance to play in the national team. We are proud of that.

On your personal and FC Goa’s objectives for the season.

My personal objective and my team objectives are the same because we want to play football, the way we are good at playing and show the fans how good we are at playing in our own style. Obviously, we have to focus on the matches right now to reach the top four and later on, we’ll see how it goes.

Read the Match Preview here.

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