Felt a connection with Pena, he has a thorough understanding of the club: FC Goa assistant coach Gouramangi Singh

Gouramangi Singh, assistant coach of FC Goa, has a strong-minded approach to the dynamics at the Goan club. Pairing alongside former FC Goa player, now turned manager, Carlos Pena in the coaching department, Singh is optimistic about Pena’s vision for the club and has already begun work for the upcoming season.

The former India international hasn’t plied much trade in terms of coaching, spending his last three years managing FC Bengaluru United, a team that plays in tier three of Indian football, but Pena had other things in mind for Singh.

“I will not be new to this environment. Wherever you go, the dynamics of the dressing room don’t change, and I’ve been part of different dressing rooms with club and country, as player and coach, over the years,” spoke Singh in an interview with TOI.

The former Chennaiyin FC player made his Hero ISL debut against FC Goa at the Jawaharlal Nehru Stadium in Fatorda and still recalls it as one of the most memorable experiences of his time in the Hero ISL. Since hanging up his boots in 2018, the former defender has turned to coaching and also holds the AIFF A licence, granted to coaches.

“After speaking with Carlos for the last couple of weeks where there has been official sharing of thoughts, I understand completely the coach’s point of view. He is a thorough professional and takes care of the smallest details. I really mean the smallest (detail). He has a clear roadmap on how we have to take this team forward. I am looking forward to the season,” he added.

One of India’s most decorated players, the 36-year-old has had the honour of being named as AIFF’s Best Men’s Player of the Year back in his playing days. While not one of the best defenders, Singh always had a knack for understanding the game better than most players.

“I felt some kind of connection. Both of us come from the same background, so it was easy to understand his language. The clear thought process helped,” he said.

A product of the Tata Football Academy, Singh spent a major part of footballing career in Goa at Dempo SC, Sporting Clube de Goa, and Churchill Brothers. The defender won countless silverware of his career during his time at Goa.

“I carry a lot of fond memories. I have friends and family in Goa, whom I have known for almost 20 years. I got so many messages after the announcement. It was nice to hear from people who helped me establish my career.”

“Dempo, for example, signed me when I was a nobody. I had my fair share of troubles. It took me about three years to find my feet and establish myself as a player. I must say Goa has given me a lot and I will forever be grateful to the people and the clubs in Goa,” he said.

Having recently finished completing their foreign contingent, Pena has already begun the rebuilding work at FC Goa after an upsetting Hero ISL 2021-22 season. Additionally, with the addition of Singh, the Gaurs can hope for a successful campaign, starting with defending the Durand Cup title ahead of a longer football season.

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