Ferrando: Important to show that we deserve to be in the Champions League
After being appointed as FC Goa’s head coach ahead of Hero Indian Super League (Hero ISL) 2020-21, Juan Ferrando has been tasked with continuing the Gaurs’ strong performances in the league. The Spaniard is looking forward to the challenges that lie ahead in the upcoming season and hopes to lead the club to at least the playoffs in the Hero ISL, while also doing well in the AFC Champions League.
“It is quite a challenge, not just because FC Goa is starting a new chapter in the ISL, but also because this season we are participating in the AFC Champions League and representing India in such a great competition. Our goal is to play in the ISL playoffs again and to do well in the group stage of the Asian Champions League. This is the first time we will participate in this competition and for us, it is important to show we deserve to be there,” the 39-year-old head coach told sportskeeda.com.
“The current situation does not make it easier as due to the pandemic there are some regulations and restrictions on how and where to train, on playing matches with no fans and so on. We will do our best to work hard and achieve our goals. We must build a new squad with players from the youth program, new youngsters, and foreign ones helping the team grow,” Ferrando explained.
The Spaniard believes that India has a lot of potential when it comes to developing talented players, but the onus must be on the coaches and experienced foreign players to help nurture them. “Indian football must be synonymous with quality. We all know there are good foreign players enrolled in different teams in the ISL, but as I see it, we also must be looking after and nurture Indian players and help them show that they have skills and deserve much greater recognition. It is also in their hands to make Indian football known to the world,” he said.
Along with their experienced foreign signings, the Gaurs have also recruited a number of Indian youngsters such as Makan Winkle Chothe, Sanson Pereira and more recently, Phrangki Buam. While discussing his squad’s balance, Ferrando shared, “Everyone has been signed with a purpose. Some like Igor (Angulo) with the thought of getting goals, whilst others will help provide structure at the back. We will look at others to be at their expressive best to carve out opportunities.”
“Our squad is complete, all of us at FC Goa we have worked hard to find the best players according to our budget and the way we want to play. And we have always kept in mind we wanted players willing to help the younger ones in the squad as well,” he added.