Remembering FC Goa signing with fondness, Jesuraj gears up for another challenge

Image credit: romarioalex11 at Instagram

FC Goa have assembled a squad with plenty of exciting domestic players ahead of Hero Indian Super League (Hero ISL) 2020-21 and winger Alexander Jesuraj is one such talent who will be eager to prove himself. Jesuraj began his career with Chennai City FC and won the Hero I-League with them before joining FC Goa. He was sent out on loan by the Gaurs to Kolkata giants Mohun Bagan AC for the 2019-20 campaign and won his second Hero I-League. However, playing for FC Goa is something that he’s always longed for and is now happy to be in a position of doing so.

“I always wanted to play for FC Goa if I played in ISL. Even my uncle used to tell me that I should definitely play for this club in my professional career. So, when I first heard that I am going to sign for FC Goa, my happiness knew no bounds. I felt very happy,” Jesuraj told sportskeeda.com.

The midfielder went on to elaborate why playing for Mohun Bagan AC in last season’s Hero I-League was a big learning curve for him. “Playing for Mohun Bagan was a great experience in my life... that was the first time I stepped out of my comfort zone. It really helped a lot to be a better person as well as a player. Most of the pressure comes because of the fans as they are so passionate about the team and the game. And I sure learnt how to deal with it,” Jesuraj said.

Looking ahead to Hero ISL 2020-21, the 24-year-old mentioned how he’s enjoying FC Goa’s high intensity pre-season preparations and lauded the professionalism shown by the club. “Pre-season is going great so far and the outdoor training is a highly intense one. It’s more than what I had experienced before. But now I have got used to it and I am loving each and everything about the training process. I am looking forward to making the best out of it.

“The pre-season is, of course, a lot different than what we are used to. However, what really has struck me has been the professionalism of the club, because of which I will say that I am really in as good shape as ever. I trained regularly during the lockdown as per the plan provided and this pre-season is the most intense one, I have been involved in. It really is preparing all of us for the toil ahead, but I am really enjoying it,” he said.

Even though the competition for places in FC Goa’s starting line-up will be intense, Jesuraj is relishing the challenge. “I don’t take anything for granted. That has been the attitude that has helped me reach here and that’s not something I am looking to change. There is a lot of competition for a place in the first XI, but I never expected anything less than that. This just makes the challenge even more enjoyable,” he opined.

The 24-year-old also discussed the prospect of representing the Gaurs in the AFC Champions League. “Exciting would be a good word to describe it. We are going to compete at a level no Indian club has ever competed in. Knowing the competition and the calibre of teams and players involved, it is going to be a real task on hand. We, however, believe in our abilities and know that the whole of India will be watching. These are the kind of moments or games you dream of playing growing up,” Jesuraj enthused.

FC Goa’s first match of the season will see them face Bengaluru FC at Fatorda on November 22.

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